Thursday, April 27, 2006

Is This It for Mariano "Charlie Brown" Rivera?

I know, this question's been asked a zillion times every time he's blown a save or two, but no one lasts forever (except Julio Franco, apparently), so is this the end of the line? Will he be Mr. Automatic, or will he be John Franco of the late '90s, where you hold your breath every time he takes the mound?

Well, in the six games he's pitched so far, only once did he record a 1-2-3 inning. He's allowed 10 hits and 2 walks in 7.1 innings. Granted, he's entitled to some stinkers here and there, and as long as he gets the outs when they count (namely, in September and October), the Junkee fans won't care if he screws up many times throughout the season.

The bottom line is the Junkees are going to be the race all season, as none of the other teams in the divison have shown dominance. Boston looked like it had the potential to make things interesting, but I can't trust Wakefield anymore, and they need another starter to replace Wells.

Toronto has no bullpen, and the Orioles are a joke. So the Junkees will have those big games where they win 11-9 and will coast into September. The question is, if Charlie Brown isn't the same (and I call him that because he looked like CB in Game 4 of the '04 ALCS when he blew the lead - remember how he was all stretched out during the game-tying hit up the middle?), and the Junkees are in a close game with the White Sox or Red Sox during the playoffs, can you trust him to get out Thome, Konerko, Manny, Ortiz, et cetera?

Hopefully not.

1 comment:

alex said...

mo's been pretty solid in his save situations (except of course that minnesota game)... 1 hit or less in each of of the saves. but many closers (trevor hoffman comes to mind) are absolutely awful in non save situations. mo didnt used to be one of them. but i guess we'll see if the trend continues.