This just in: Cordero is human

Last year, the Texas Rangers concluded that Francisco Cordero wasn’t sufficiently effective as a closer any longer…well, at least against their AL opponents. So the Rangers included Cordero as part of the deal to acquire slugger Carlos Lee from the Brewers.
Cordero had proved the Rangers wrong, for the most part, until last night. Given a 3-0 lead heading into the bottom of the ninth, Coco was able to get the first two outs. But then came a series of most unbelievable occurences: Brad Wilkerson singled…and advanced to second on defensive indifference. Ramon Vazquez walked. At this point, no need to panic–still 3-0, and 2 outs. The Gerald Laird singled to left, plating Wilkerson, and moving Vazquez to third…runners on the corners, now 3-1, still 2 outs. Kenny Lofton then singles to drive in Vazquez, but Laird only advanced to second…3-2, 2 outs, and force out possibilities at third base, second base, and first base. Marlon Byrd gets behind 0-2, then takes one in the dirt, before singling to center, driving in the tying run. With the scored tied at 3 apiece, the struggling Michael Young comes up with runners on first and second…and singles a 0-1 pitch to right, to drive in Kenny Lofton and the winning run.
So, in 25.33 innings of work, Coco Cordero has given up 5 ER’s–4 of them in one evening to the Texas Rangers (the other one was back on May 8th to the Nationals)…Brewers’ nation was stunned at the collapse, not sure if this is a once-in-a-lifetime event, or a bad moon rising…nonetheless, what is done is done, and how Bill Castro and Mike Maddux make sure that this doesn’t haunt Cordero is the main thing.
On a more positive note, Ben Sheets allowed 0 ER over 7 IP, fanning 6, and lowering his ERA to 3.21, suddenly making a case for him to be the Brewers’ All-Star representative. Derrick Turnbow had success in the 8th, fanning 2 and allowing 0 hits, walks, or runs.
The Sounds won, too. Adam Pettyjohn earned his first win of the year in the start, over one Billy Buckner of the Omaha Royals…my guess is that Buckner is the kid of the infamous Cubs’ and Red Sox’s first baseman, opting for “Billy” instead of “Junior.”
Oh, and the Crew is still 4 games up in the loss column over both the Cubs and Cardinals. Dave Bush (3-6, 5.67) is slated to go tonight. Ten of Bush’s twelve starts have been under the lights, and his numbers at night are even worse: 2-6, 6.49. Maybe his 5 road starts give us more hope: nope, 1-2, 7.09. Looking at Bush’s splits on ESPN.com, opponents tend to hit Bush early, as his OBA is .291 in innings 1-3, with much of that coming in the first (OBA=.368); his Inning 4-6 improve to .256, but his Inning 7-9 skyrocket to .483; correlated nicely with pitches 76-90 having an OBA of .263, but 91-105 of .522 (side note: the ESPN1070 radio team of Heller & Murphy mentioned this data earlier in the week on their broadcast). What I’d like to see are the numbers Bush puts up verses spots in the batting order–my guess is that the 1-5 hitters have great success against him, particularly the third time through the batting order. Anyway, look for Carlos Villanueva early on Sunday evening, and probably another situational appearance by lefty Brian Shouse…another former Rangers’ reliever.

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