Orioles: The morning after
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. I know everything that everybody in an Orioles uniform could have done differently during Sunday's game to protect a slim lead and get the O's their second series victory over the hated Yankees.
You do too. It's pretty obvious right now that Dave Trembley should have left Koji Uehara on the mound until the cows came home, and a lot of people posting comments here think this is the latest example of him mismanaging a game. Never mind that Trembley had let Koji pitch into the seventh in each of his previous three starts and Uehara had gotten hit around. Never mind that Koji is starting more frequently than he did when he was in the Yomiuri Giants rotation and he's 34 years old. Suddenly, he's a "hot" pitcher who is being robbed of the chance to pile up complete games.
This isn't about Koji being pulled early. It's about the Orioles' bullpen giving it up again. It's about the offense going dormant after the first inning. It's about the Orioles not being a very good team, which I think we all knew coming in.
Somebody hammered me for "drinking the Kool-Aid" because I wouldn't pin this loss on Trembley. Think what you want. If you believe Trembley mismanaged the bullpen, then you believe this bullpen is so good that it really should never give up a run. The reason I knew -- and wrote before the four-run seventh inning -- that the O's were in big trouble was because I knew Koji was getting tired, and I knew it was foolhardy to assume the bullpen could hold the Yankees scoreless for three innings.
Trust me. Trembley knew that, too, but he wants to have a healthy Uehara in the rotation all season and it's the only bullpen he has. I wouldn't trade jobs with him, because he has to make those decisions in real time. Unlike you and I, he doesn't get to wait until after the fact to decide whether it was the right move or not.