May 14, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Athletics relief pitcher Luke Gregerson (44) pitches in relief against the Chicago White Sox during the ninth inning at O.co Coliseum. The Chicago White Sox defeated the Oakland Athletics 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Ed Szczepanski-USA TODAY Sports

Dan Otero Blows Save, Gregerson Gives Up Walk-Off Homer


Lately the Oakland Athletics had been doing so well. They were on a hot streak, but the Tampa Bay Rays have taken a fire hose and put that fire out.

The offense was horrible, but you can read more about that here.

The pitching was superb; at least for the first 27 innings of this 3 game series it was. Pomeranz went 5 scoreless innings and the bullpen went 4 scoreless innings after that.

Milone went 5.2 innings, and could have gone 6 but the matchup led Bob Melvin to go to the bullpen. Milone allowed 2 runs in his start, the bullpen took the rest of the game and all turned in zeros.

In the final game Sonny Gray was outstanding, going 8 innings with only 1 run scored. Surely he got the win right? Well not with zero run support he didn’t.

Fernando Abad took the 9th inning, and also put up a zero. The game went into extra innings.

Dan Otero started off great, but in the 11th inning, he blew the save. The score was 2-2.

Here comes Luke Gregerson. I knew the game was lost when that happened.

Luke Gregerson is the worst pitcher in the majors to bring in to a game with runners on the bases. Statistically anyways. He has allowed 7 out of 11 inherited runners to score. He is the reason Abad has an ERA over 0.00. In 7 save opportunities, he blew 4 of them. He gave up a home run to end the game today against the Rays, a game the Athletics were 1 strike away from winning.

I believe in the end, there is only 1 stat that matters. The amount of wins and losses.

I received some criticism in my last bullpen article, “Grant Balfour Back to Oakland Athletics?”, in which I stated that when Eric O’Flaherty recovers and is ready to get back to the big leagues, he should take Luke Gregerson’s place. I still believe that 100%.

People may argue that his ERA isn’t that bad, or that all of his other stats are decent. But the thing that matters most is winning. And Luke Gregerson has too many blown saves. He is the reason the Athletics had 6 game winning streak instead of an 11 game win streak. It actually could have been 12 today, if Gregerson hadn’t given up that home run to Jose Abreu last week and hadn’t given the home run today. Otero is partially to blame for allowing the game to become a tie yet again, but Gregerson gave up the home run that turned a tie into a loss.

Dan Otero has shown how great he is. Luke Gregerson has shown how he can lose games for the Athletics. If it wasn’t for Gregerson, the Athletics could potentially have been 34-13. Instead they are now 30-17, which is still great, but when you see how much better the record could be with out those losses from Gregerson, you begin to think he should be replaced.

So now, I admit I was wrong. Eric O’Flaherty shouldn’t take Luke Gregerson’s spot. Ryan Cook should when he returns.

Ryan Cook will be returning sooner than O’Flaherty, and should replace Gregerson. The rest of the bullpen with the exception of Jim Johnson, has been decent or better than decent.

Luke Gregerson may not have the worst numbers, but he does cause too many losses. That makes him a weak link, and I for one believe if you have someone better than him, he should be replaced. Why have Dan Straily when you have Drew Pomeranz? The same principle applies here. Why have Gregerson when you can have someone better?

Today’s heart-breaking loss only further shows the need to send Gregerson to Triple-A in order to fix whatever his problem is. It may seem extreme, but in the end, the only stat that matters is how many wins you have, because that is what determines who gets to play in October and who gets to watch from their couch.

Tags: Dan Otero Luke Gregerson Oakland Athletics

  • afannaz

    ok, here’s my take on that…otero might have put a couple guys on base to tie the game, but gregerson gave up the HR that put down the red carpet to home plate for the tampa win. gregerson should get this loss, even if otero “blew the save”, gregerson blew the/another game! this is getting unnecessarily ugly. what the hell is BB doing allowing this to go on with gregerson? (and johnson) send them out (to AAA) so they can either figure it out or stay there. this can’t go on, watching wins turn into losses in an instant, by the guy(s) who is supposed to finish out the W! (must be really emotionally crazy-making to his teammates after all that work to get/keep the lead up until that very last pitch that blows it all away) he’s proven he can’t be trusted to do his job. there are several other guys on that bullpen roster who are more successful, why use him and johnson instead of them? why would they even be considered in a tight situation (or any other) like this?

    just an aside…why can’t a closer, sean doolittle in this case, pitch one inning, three days in a row? i know it’s a “high stress situation”, but come on, it’s three innings with 24 hours in between each one inning. i’m really honestly curious!

    • jbenitez

      I can see why they would want to give Doolittle a break, but I agree, Johnson and Gregerson are costing the team to many wins. Johnson only seems to do good when he isn’t closing a game. When he pitches while the A’s are down or when he pitches with a huge lead. As for Gregerson, he has some great outings but the same issue as well, he can’t perform well while closing. I think that one of them should move down to AAA as soon as soon as Eric O’Flaherty is ready to go. BB should also search the trade market for a better reliever and use him to replace whoever O’Flaherty didn’t replace. We need guys who can keep the win intact, not give up homeruns like Gregerson or just do an all around bad job like Johnson.