6:30pm is family dinner time, so I mercifully missed the Great Bullpen Disaster of April 27. All was well when I sat down for dinner, but apparently the Yankees dribbled a bunch of balls through the infield off Jim Mecir and came back from a four-run deficit to win. Yet another Tim Hudson no-decision. Argh.
I don’t know why Hudson was lifted. He had only thrown 97 pitches; he could have gone another inning without hitting any alarms on the pitcher abuse meter.
The A’s middle relief doesn’t match up well with the Yankees if Mecir can’t perform. Ricardo Rincon is a pure LOOGY: you really don’t want to see him facing righties. Chad Bradford is a ROOGY: you don’t want him facing lefties. Mecir can face both, at least in theory, because his screwball gives him a good weapon against lefties. There’s also Chris Hammond, but Macha seems reluctant to use him in a tight spot, for whatever reason.
Usually, Ken Macha can set things up so Rincon and Bradford face the hitters Macha wants them to face. But the Yankees have five switch-hitters on their roster, so if Mecir’s having a bad day, the A’s have problems. Either Rincon or Bradford is going to end up facing someone from the wrong side of the plate. Macha chose Rincon to face Ruben Sierra; a line drive hit the chalk, and there’s your ballgame. That one stings.