It's not that I agree with Bernie Miklasz more than usual in the following blockquote, or that I think he is bringing unheard-of nuance to the issue of whether or not the Cardinals should push their bullpen into the ocean at the next opportunity—â†µ
These guys did a terrific job for three months, pitching at a higher and more reliable level than I'd anticipated. The relievers were a team strength. They were money. And now, obviously, they've had some horrible results over the last two, three games. The relievers didn't have to work Sunday, because Adam Wainwright pitched a complete game to beat the Brewers. But if we go back to Saturday's game vs. Milwaukee, and add these first two Rockies' games, it's a bloody mess for the bullpen: 12.1 IP, 27 hits, 6 walks, 1 hit batter, 5 homers, a .458 batting average and a 13.14 ERA. There's nothing to add to that. But it's only three games. And this was one of the top bullpens in the majors. I won't trash these guys because they've had a few bad games.â†µ
—It's just that I think the preceding paragraph, with some healthy finding and replacing, is viable analysis for nearly any baseball decision that threatens to be made after three games. Baseball isn't football. Unless, as was the case recently with Joel Zumaya, you can hear an elbow breaking on TV, one game, or even one series, isn't enough time to make a reasonable decision about anything that goes on; certainly not in the bullpen, where small samples rule the day.