I linked to this rant from two days ago about M's manager John McLaren's bullpen mismanagement, refusing to bring J.J. Putz into a critical situation because it wasn't a "save" situation, with McLaren instead allowing Rick White to gascan and let the game get out of hand.
Then, yesterday, with the Mariners having lost 5 games in a row, and having tied up the game in the top of the 9th, McLaren did the same thing.
With the meat of the Cleveland Indians lineup coming up, McLaren went with Ed O'Flaherty to start the 9th. After getting one out and giving up a walk and an HBP, McLaren turned to Rick White, who has a 7.49 ERA this season, and who was pitching in his third game in a row. And White, after getting an out, promptly walked the next two batters, ending the game.
With two on, one out, and a tie game in the bottom of the 9th, one would assume that Putz (and his 1.35 ERA) would have been the obvious choice. After all, Putz hadn't pitched since getting the save in the 2nd game of the Ranger series last Friday, and had just pitched just 2 innings in the previous 12 days. After all, in a situation like that, where any run means the game is over, you want a high strikeout guy, your best relief arm, out there.
But not McLaren. And why?
Instead, with the majority of his bullpen already used, McLaren went to a pitcher who'd spent the past month recovering from a neck injury in Class AAA before joining his 11th major-league team last week.
"He was the only guy we had, to be honest with you," McLaren said, adding that lefty long man Ryan Rowland-Smith was going to work extra innings if the game stayed tied. "We had to have J.J. available, if we ever took the lead, to wrap it up."
Putz hasn't pitched during the 6 game losing streak. Including last night, when any rational person would have used him in the 9th, to bail the M's out of a jam and give them a chance to win, instead of using an inferior reliever so that your "closer" can be brought in in a "save" situation...on the off chance you actually make it out of the jam in the 9th, and then get the lead sometime later.