Cleveland Indians: Bullpen stars are fading after another lost game

The Cleveland Indians bullpen has been a team strength for many years, but it is now a problem that leaves its fans screaming at the television.

Cleveland Indians: Bullpen stars are fading after another lost game

Nick Wittgren was again hit by the same fate Saturday night. The right-hander hit a trio of homers in the 10th in a 5-3 loss against the Red Sox.

Wittgren was not able to win with Wittgren starting on second. However, it's important to minimize the damage. It's a lot better to get dinged for one than to serve up a three-run meal.

Wittgren is one the most consistent pen arms, but even so, he's having a difficult month. Wittgren has suffered three losses and surrendered three homers this month.

James Karinchak was also demoted to Columbus in order to make room for Bobby Bradley who was on the IR. Karinchak was removed after allowing Jonathan Arauz to score three runs in Boston on Friday night.

Since the All-Star break, the "Wild Thing", has been a shell of his former self.

These stats are shocking: Since the break, his opposition has batting.283 behind him, compared with.132 before. Before the break, he was striking out 15.6 batters in nine innings and 5.4 thereafter. His ERA was 2.52. What's the difference? Try 8.40.

Talk radio and Twitter are flooded with accusations about Karinchak's declining popularity, which coincides with MLB's June 21 crackdown on sticky substances. A White Sox broadcaster accused Karinchak of using a substance during an on-air broadcast earlier in the year.

Bryan Shaw has been struggling lately with opposing batters hitting at.344 in July, and.277 this Month.

Trevor Stephan has been doing a bit better this month. He's fanned 11 batters in 13 innings. After drafting Stephan from the Yankees in Rule-5, Cleveland kept Stephan on their roster. He's not ready to pitch high-leverage yet, I think.

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