Its no secret that Diamondbacks starting pitcher Wade Miley has struggled this season, and frankly that might be the most surprising thing so far about the Dbacks disappointing 2014 season.
However for once against the Pirates in the opener of a three game series at PNC Park in Pittsburgh on Friday night, Miley was actually commanding the zone with all of his pitches, and he was hitting his spots, something he hasn’t done a whole lot of this season. The result? He pitched his best outing of the season, throwing 8 shutout innings.
Two bad pitches in the top of the 9th sent Wade Miley to the dugout and on came closer Addison Reed to do his job. After watching Miley deal, Dbacks nation had to be worried about Reed coming in and there worries were confirmed.
Reed made two bad pitches and it sent the Pirates to victory. First Starling Marte hit a two run double off Red with one out in the 9th to tie the game, and then pinch hitter Ike Davis singled two batters later and Pittsburgh completed the comeback.
After the game Reed spoke to the Associated Press: “I was trying to duplicate the previous pitch, start it on the black and have it go out of the strike zone, but I left right over the middle of the plate,” Reed said. “He’s a good hitter. You can’t do that to him. He put a good swing on it and you saw what happened.”
Now I am not suggesting that Reed should be removed after one bad outing, I am noticing a pattern that is concerning and that is why he should be removed. If you look just at the Save/Save opportunities category then he is having a pretty good year. He has converted 19 saves in 23 chances, and frankly he hasn’t gotten to many opportunities.
However, if you look deeper at his stats, there is an issue with his tenure so far in Arizona. After blowing his fourth save Tuesday night, Reed has allowed at least one run in 15 of his 33 appearances. His era for a closer is not good at all at 4.15 in 34 and 2 thirds innings, and his WHIP is terrible for a closer at 1.21. He has also allowed 8 HR’s.
It just always seems like Reed is pitching from the stretch and is in pressure situations, and he also hasn’t done well with inherited runners. The definition of a closer is the ability to shut the door and he has rarely been that in 2014.
In the offseason, I thought Reed would be a good acquisition to stabilize the 9th inning role that was a big issue in 2013. That just hasn’t worked out and when I look at it deeper, it just seems like the move wasn’t a good fit in the first place. Reed allows alot of longballs, and he was going from U.S Cellular Field which ranks 14th in park factor according to ESPN, to Chase Field which ranks 4th and is a power hitters dream.
Manager Kirk Gibson has thrown his support to Reed even with his struggles: This is what Gibson had to say to MLB.com about Reed: “I think he’s been pretty good,” Gibson said. “He’s done a pretty good job for him. We’ve had no discussions about removing him. You might feel differently, but we don’t.” I just see it differently. I dont know who would close, but I know that Reed is no longer a good fit in the desert.