How strange that Mike Gonzalez keeps facing the bottom of the order in his save opportunities.
Maybe he should start in the middle. Can that be arranged?
Manager Dave Trembley’s patience is being tested. It shows on his face and in his answers. He’s trying to remain supportive of Gonzalez, but he’s also frustrated that a 3-1 record has been turned around.
“The bottom line for me is today is a game you have to win,” he said. “You should win this game today and you don’t do it. You got all the pieces right where they’re supposed to be. You come back, (Felix) Pie makes a tremendous baserunning play, hustling all the way. We go ahead. (Mark) Hendrickson’s probably the unsung guy in the game. He holds it right there, gives us a chance, gets the momentum back on our side. (Miguel) Tejada has a very big day. But the game is ruined because we don’t close it out. That’s the way it is right there.
“Obviously, Gonzalez isn’t off to the start that he wants or that we expected. You live with it. It doesn’t sit with you real good, but that’s all I can tell you.”
I asked Trembley whether he’s concerned with the closer situation or if it’s still too early.
“There’s a couple of ballgames that we should have won and we didn’t win them. We didn’t win them,” he replied.
Is Gonzalez healthy?
“I don’t have that inclination whatsoever that there’s anything physically wrong with him,” Trembley said.
Will he be hesitant to call upon Gonzalez again?
“He’s the closer,” Trembley said.
Being asked about a potential injury reminded Trembley to mention Brian Roberts, who left the game after the first inning with a strained abdominal muscle.
“Everyone has to rally,” Trembley said. “It’s devastating for them, your leadoff guy who sets the table when you’re down and steals a base. I think it’s an abdominal strain. That’s all I know. I think the corner of the bag hit him. (Head athletic trainer) Richie Bancells came to me and we had to take him out of the game.”
Roberts is listed as day-to-day as I file this entry.
I wonder if Gonzalez, healthy or otherwise, has the same status in Baltimore?
“There’s no sugarcoating it, there’s no excuses and there’s not looking any other way. It is what it is. We didn’t close it out. Gonzalez was in there to do it and he didn’t do it,” Trembley said.
“Just like I said after the first game when we lost to Tampa, everything else is a wash. It comes down to getting the last three outs of the game. You get the last three outs of the game and everything else is forgotten.”
Oh, how I’d like to forget.