Well, we couldn’t be knee deep in hurricane season without talking about disaster relief. He in south Florida, if you are going to talk about the subject, you might not hear anyone refer to hurricane Gustav but rather hurricane Gregg. Kevin Gregg is almost single-handedly crumbling up Marlin wins that would keep them alive in the pennant race.
“I’m killing the guys right now. They’re playing good baseball, and I screwed it up.”
At least Gregg is admitting his faults. Last time, he was willing to blame everyone else including the hot dog vendors. When you have a team like the Mutts in town, and you are in the mouth of the wolf because, let’s face it, there are a lot of Mutt fans down here in New Yawk South, you have to take advantage.
The Mutts, to their credit, actually didn’t lay down and die. They fought back to try and steal the 2-1 edge the Marlins were holding but Joe Nelson was able to wiggle out of jam after jam. It was looking like the Marlins night.
Then Gregg came out to close it. And he almost did, but he left a crack that blew up in everyone’s face. Luis Castillo had 2 outs and 2 strikes on him but Gregg gave up a single. Then another to David Wrong. Then he plunked ex-Marlin Carlos Delgado with one pitch. Then, to make up for it, leaves the next pitch hanging which Carlos Beltran, one of the most overrated players in the game, crushed into RF.
“He hit that ball 500 feet”, Gregg said. And with it, the Marlins chances of getting back into the NL East race. Gregg said he couldn’t express what was going through his mind at that moment as it wouldn’t be allowed to be published. Well, I am sure the Marlins fans know exactly what he means – we were thinking the same thing. Ironically, so were the Mutt fans who were typically brash after they lucky win.
Fredi Gonzalez was asked about taking Gregg out as closer. ”Do you have anything else other than that ?” was his response. Guess he was a bit angry about being asked that yet this is precisely the question that should be asked. Really, it should be more like, “What the hell were you thinking?”
Look, I could chew over stat after stat like the fact that he leads the league in blown saves now. We can analyze his pitch counts, his ratio of strikes:balls. We can look at his pitching mechanics which, ironically, haven’t changed a whole lot and have remained consistent. The bottom line is Gregg is not getting it done and although now is not the time to be experimenting, it is the time to take drastic measures and send a message to the team that if you are not going to get the job done, you will be replaced.
Who could fill in for Gregg? Joe Nelson, Matt Lindstrom. I even like Dough Waechter to step in there. Lindstrom would be the best choice with his blazing fastball he will certainly force hitters to adjust their timing. The real question isn’t whether or not they will perform well, but will the be able to throw strikes consistently enough to end games? In other words, can they do what Gregg cannot? This is what Fredi has to address – that is his job.