Thursday, October 29, 2009

Damaso so good?

If there's one thing that's surprising about the Yankee postseason thus far, it's this: the bullpen has struggled more than we expected.

Mariano is still Mariano, but nearly everyone else has struggled at some point--even Robertson had a less than stellar appearance last night.

Despite the fact that the malaise seems to be so widespread, there's just one Yankee pitcher that seems to bear the brunt of everyone's emotions: Damaso Marte.

The thing is, although Yankee fans are generally astute (I hope, anyway), Marte might not actually deserve all the blame that is being heaped on him.

While it's true that Marte struggled in Game 2 of the ALDS, allowing two hits with no outs in extra innings, he has not allowed anything in the two innings (spread out over four games) he has pitched since then--no hits, no walks, no nothing.

While you might be thinking that spreading two innings over four games may not say much, keep in mind that, as a LOOGY, this is exactly how Marte is supposed to be used: to nab the left handed bats and no more.

In other words, then, what Marte has been doing is simple: his job.

It doesn't sound like much, but when you consider how much the other, normally reliable, relievers are struggling, it does matter.

Would I advocate, like I did with Robertson, for Marte to be used more? No, not really--being used as he is is the best way to use him, and the track record of using him too much isn't pretty--but what I would suggest is that perhaps he does not necessarily need to bear the brunt of our ire.

At any rate, tonight the Yankees need AJ Burnett to be solid. As important as Damaso Marte may or may not be, he will still not be important as the starting pitching the Yankees receive.