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Shepkowski: Mistaking ‘Should’ for ‘Could’

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Matt Thornton

Matt Thornton (Photo Credit: Getty Images, By: Jonathan Daniel)

Nick Shepkowski Nick Shepkowski
Nick Shepkowski is the associate producer of McNeil and Spiegel on 670...
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By Nick Shepkowski–

Every half inning of a baseball game ends when three outs are registered, not more and not less. Just because the three outs in the ninth inning were harder to register than the three outs in the fourth inning doesn’t mean a team “should” have won a given game. They simply didn’t get the job done that day, they didn’t deserve to win.

Over the course of 162 games there will be plenty of games a team “could” have won and “could” have lost. The White Sox are in a stretch that has seen them blow saves in six of their first twelve contests which has resulted in five loses. Just becuase the bullpen didn’t close the deal doesn’t mean the White Sox “should” be 10-2. It means they’ve earned their 7-5 record because of their failure to close out games.

If you argue the White Sox should have won Wednesday’s contest versus the A’s, then shouldn’t they have lost to Oakland on Tuesday night? The Athletics did hold a 5-4 lead when both teams’ bullpens were in the game, the same basis for many arguments at this point in the year.

“The water will find its level.”

There is no way the White Sox bullpen will continue to convert just 14% of their save opportunities, just like there is no way the Cleveland Indians will finish the season anywhere near the four games over .500 they sit right now. Teams and players have both good and bad stretches, and the White Sox bullpen is currently functioning at a very low level.

Baseball has an odd way of working itself out. It may not seem that way just a dozen games into the year, but the bullpen won’t continue its current incompetence. Changes of roles will likely take place before much longer but at the end of the year all thirty teams in MLB will finish with records they deserve, the exact record they “should.”

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