The eighth inning of horrors for 66ers

Here’s the eighth-inning tabulation 66ers bullpen against the Lake Elsinore Storm the last two nights: 5 pitchers used, each of whom allowed at least 2 earned runs, 22 batters faced, 11 hits allowed (eight of which came with runners in scoring position), 14 runs surrendered (all earned), four walks, one hit batter, one wild pitch, and two blown leads.

On Wednesday it was a 9-4 lead and the Sixers gave up six and lost 10-9. On Thursday, it was a 7-3 lead and they gave up eight and lost 11-7. The Sixers (10-18) are now 1-5 against Lake Elsinore (16-12) this season. Brad Brach has earned the save in all 5 of those Lake Elsinore wins and leads the league with 10 saves.

Who were the big bats combined on Wednesdays and Thursday’s eighth innings for Lake Elsinore? Ex-Quake Michael Collins was 3-for-3 with three runs and an RBI, Allan Dykstra was 2-for-2 with two runs and five RBI. Vince Belnome was 1-for-1 with two walks, two runs and two RBIs.

Suddenly the Sixers bullpen just looks awful. Who’s reliable? Kenley Jansen, Cody White and Kyle Smit, none of whom pitched in the eighth inning either night. Brandon Mann, who had a 2.08 ERA prior to Thursday, gave up the first two runs of the eight-run debacle Thursday and saw his ERA rise to 3.07.

I’ve always felt a Cal League team is only as strong as its bullpen. With several weak links in the Sixers’ bullpen right now, it’s no wonder the team is 10-18.