Days that are specifically designated "optimism days" or contain "open optimism threads" invariably end in tears. Those days usually kick off a losing streak, and it would be insane to get too cute when the Giants are in the middle of a one-game winning streak. But I have had an idea for an optimism-tinged post since Opening Day. It just never seemed appropriate to introduce anything that wasn't visibly emitting fumes of pessimism.
It's a new day. I present:
Why in the Hell Shouldn't the Bullpen Be Good?
Jack Taschner has spent parts of the last two seasons in Fresno, where he has struck out over 11 batters for every nine innings he pitched. He can certainly rip off a nice breaking ball at times, and his fastball can sit in the low-90s. Why in the hell shouldn't he be good?
Vinnie Chulk suffers from Jamey Wright Syndrome, which means his arm doesn't match his strikeout totals. However, the strikeout rate hopped a bit in 2006, and there are signs the improvement can stick. The breaking ball can be naaaasty, and he's a tough at-bat if he has any sort of command with his fastball. Why in the hell shouldn't he be good?
Brad Hennessey has always been a reliever miscast as a starter. His sinker is a great thing to bring in with a runner on first and less than two outs. When his velocity is up, as it is when he's strictly in a short relief role, it makes his slider a legitimate strikeout pitch. Why in the hell shouldn't he be good?
Kevin Correia has filthy stuff, and he was pretty good last year. He gave up an absolute bomb to Adrian Gonzalez last night, but that's okay because Gonzalez is the greatest hitter in the history of baseball. Why in the hell shouldn't Correia stay good?
Steve Kline is Steve Kline is Steve Kline. He'll be putting seasons like 2006 up until he's 42. Why in the hell shouldn't he stay adequate?
Jonathan Sanchez has a chance to be in the B.J. Ryan-class of lefty relievers who don't need to come out against right-handers. His velocity is erratic, but his delivery is tough to pick up. His change is coming along, and the only real concern right now is his command. Why in the hell shouldn't he be good?
Five girls in Ohio were arrested for carjacking a 78-year-old woman last October. Armando Benitez was not involved in any way. Why in the hell shouldn't he stay someone who isn't the mastermind of a carjacking syndicate of teenage girls?
Obviously, the bullpen will give up six runs tonight. That's pretty clear, and I knew the risks going in. But I'll retain my faith in this collection of arms for at least a week before viciously turning on them if they don't perform well. It's an interesting collection, though. I want to believe.