Now that i have digested these last two ball games against the tricky Nats. I have come to realize that we really need to get rid of 34 year old Scott Linebrink after the Braves suffered back to back losses. Atlanta was in it with Washington late in both of the games.
My heart races everytime i see Linebrink take to the mound. For the most part he has lost his relevance to the bullpen. Heading into Spring Training he figured to be an important piece to the Atlanta bullpen. That has not taken form and he is now used less frequently. His ERA is sitting at minor league level of 7.50. That doesn’t tell the whole story of this struggling reliever.
He came over from the Chicago White Sox on December 3rd 2010. He was traded for pitcher Kyle Cofield. He was supposed to bring some veteran presence with the departure of Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito in the late innings.
In the month of May he has a 0-1 record with 3.1 innings pitched, 7 hits, 5 earned runs and just 1 strike out for an ERA of 13.50. Not something the Braves can afford to keep any longer.
He was shelled in last nights game, he came in relief for George Sherrill in the 10th inning. He gave up 4 hits, and 4 earned runs including a two run shot from Jason Werth that all but sealed the game for the Nats.
If it wasn’t for a masterful play by Alex Gonzalez to turn a double play Linebrink may have given up more than he did. Atlanta lost the game 7-3 when they have a 3-1 lead going into the 9th.
It should be interesting to see how the bullpen responds after losing the last two against Washington. Derek Lowe will take the mound searching for his fourth win of the year. He pitched a 3 hit, 5.2 innings of scoreless ball against the Nationals on March 31st.
One last note i found awfully funny while i was checking out Scott Linebrink’s Wikipedia page and here is the quote. “Scott Linebrink enjoys giving up earned runs. Scott Linebrink has a career OPS against Jason Marquis of 3.000.” It appears there is another distraught Braves fan out there that took the liberty of “editing” his profile.