Fredi’s miserable week continued last night with the highly questionable decision to bring in Luis Avilan in the 6th inning to face Gregory Polanco, who’s hardly Barry Bonds. And it was a little early to be playing match-ups, especially with 2 outs, none on and a hitter with a .686 OPS due up.
Once Avilan walked Polanco, Pittsburgh got the match-up they wanted. Starling Marte has a 1.239 OPS vs. southpaws, so his homer shouldn’t have come as a surprise.
To make matters worse, Avilan was due up third in the bottom half of the inning. So Fredi burns two relievers, including his only lefty, in favor of Trevor Cahill. You know the rest.
Make no mistake — this is an awful bullpen. Fredi’s mismanagement just makes a bad thing worse.
Some help is on the way, however. The Braves have signed David Aardsma, once a dominant closer for the Mariners who was lights out in Triple-A this season with the Dodgers. I’m not sure why they’re starting him at Gwinnett but I suspect we’ll see him — and comeback kid Peter Moylan — soon.
Of greater concern is Julio Teheran, trying to right a troubling start which has seen his homers per 9 IP double from a year ago and his walks per 9 nearly double. He’s been the same old Julio at Turner Field, with a 1.82 ERA, 0.973 WHIP and only 2 homers allowed. He’s yielded 10 homers on the road, with a 6.94 ERA and 1.927 WHIP.
The line-up is still Jace-less, though he’s expected to be ready tomorrow:
Maybin 8 Simmons 6 Freeman 3 Markakis 9 Johnson 5 Uribe 4 Gomes 7 Bethancourt 2 Teheran 1