The Atlanta Braves completed a three game sweep of the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday afternoon. Chad Durbin made his first appearance since April 9th. He came into the game with the outcome decidedly in the Braves’ favor, 7-1 in the 9th inning. Durbin allowed two doubles and a homerun to let the Brewers get within 3 runs by the time everything was said and done. The Braves need to go ahead and cut Durbin now, before he has the opportunity to pitch in a game which he shouldn’t be.
I will admit that today’s action against the Brewers is one of two situations that Durbin should be used, with the other being when the Braves are down by 7 or more runs in the 8th inning. Those are the only two scenarios he should pitch in, period.
This is not a reason to keep him around. They should cut him and take their loss now, rather than taking any later.
Durbin has made three appearances for the Braves after today’s appearance. What is remarkable is his stats in each appearance:
April 7 – 1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 HR, 1K, 0 BB – Braves lost 4-2 to the New York Mets. (He entered the game with the Braves trailing by 1)
April 9 – 1 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 1 HR, 1K, 0 BB – Braves lose 8-3 to the Houston Astros. (He entered the game with the Braves trailing 6-3)
April 15 – 1 IP, 3 H, 3 ER, 1 HR, 1K, 0 BB – Braves won 7-4 to the Brewers.
To be fair, he did not lose the game to the Mets or the Astros. He should never be in situations where the Braves are within reach of tying the other team. The first two games are prime examples of games he should not pitch in.
The Braves made a conscious decision to put Durbin in their bullpen at the expense of carrying an inexperienced youngster. Yohan Flande and Cory Gearrin have pitched 17 IP combined and have not allowed an earned run so far in AAA. Both would be better for the Braves at this point and moving forward. Realistically, Durbin should have never been signed over either of those players. He is not the same pitcher he used to be. The Braves would be better off without him.