Sometimes a relief appearance is more about soaking up innings than actually preventing runs, which Tom Gorzelanny found out the hard way last night.
Gorzelanny entered the game in the sixth inning following an abbreviated Edwin Jackson start and the first seven Astros batters he faced went single, fielder’s choice, single, single, single, single, double.
At that point a 5-4 deficit had grown to a 10-4 deficit and the game was all but over despite the fact that Gorzelanny had recorded just one out, but instead of removing him from the mess manager Davey Johnson left him in.
And then afterward he explained the move to Gene Wang of the Washington Post:
Bullpen’s been pretty taxed pretty much all year. It wasn’t the case where I was going to throw the kitchen sink at them trying to win that ballgame. I want to go into the division series against Miami without an overburdened pen so Gorzo kind of hand to take it on the chin. That happens in this game.
Gorzelanny escaped the inning without further damage and then allowed “only” one more run in the next frame, so he avoided ruining his ERA for the entire season and simply saw it grow from 0.00 to 7.36 in the span of 46 pitches.