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Bad Beats

   by Ben Burns - 07/28/2009

If a team can’t bounce back from blowing a big lead, its season could be in trouble.

If you can’t bounce back from being on the wrong side of one of those blown leads, your bankroll is in even bigger trouble.

Let’s examine how the Twins and Blue Jays responded in their next game after blowing 10- and eight-run leads respectively this week. While we’re at it, let’s see if we can’t learn something from how teams react to wild games to help us bounce back as well.

Twins at A’s, Monday

Bad beat: The Twins were small favorites with up-and-down Nick Blackburn on the bump at Oakland.

Minnesota jumped all over A’s starter Gio Gonzalez early and owned a 12-2 lead by the middle of the third inning.

It wouldn’t last.

The light-hitting A’s found their stroke and took a 14-13 lead with a seven-run seventh.

The Twins had a chance to tie the game in the ninth, but Michael Cuddyer was called out at home, trying to score on a wild pitch.

Replays showed that Cuddyer was clearly safe. It was a blown call on the potential tying run. It doesn’t get much worse.The teams combined to use 11 pitchers


Bounce back: The A’s were -132 with left-hander Dallas Braden starting opposite of the Twins’ Anthony Swarzak in the series finale Tuesday.

Both starters were effective, lasting into the seventh inning. The teams combined for just 11 total hits, after having 29 Monday. The Twins pulled out a 3-2 win in 10 innings.

Tampa Bay Rays at Toronto Blue Jays, Saturday

Bad beat: Toronto hit Rays’ starter David Price hard and often.

The Jays hit four home runs, three coming off of the disappointing Price, and led 8-0 after four innings.

The Rays were on the losing end of Mark Buerhle’s perfect game Thursday and managed just five hits against Roy Halladay and the Jays on Friday.

So the eight-run deficit certainly seemed insurmountable.

But, of course, it wasn’t.

Tampa Bay knocked out Blue Jay starter Brian Tallet with a four-run seventh that cut the deficit to 9-5.

The Rays tied the score with two runs in the ninth and eventually won in the 12th.

The teams combined to use 14 pitchers in Tampa Bay’s improbable 10-9 win.

Bounce back: Going for a series sweep, Tampa Bay sent red-hot Jeff Neimann to the mound opposite of the Jays’ promising young pitcher Brett Cecil Sunday.

The game opened as basically a pick, with the Rays picking up a little late action and going off around -117.

Cecil out-pitched Niemann in a 5-1 Blue Jay victory.

Both starters lasted into the seventh.

Something to consider

Obviously in wild slugfests like the two above, bullpens are going to be depleted.

The manager’s natural reaction the day after is to be a little more patient with his starter.

If you noticed, all four starters involved in the above bounce back games lasted into the seventh inning.

This adds value to the first five inning bets that are available at almost all sportsbooks.

If you already like starter, you can bet he’s not going to be on a short hook with a depleted bullpen.

If you were on the wrong side of one or, God-forbid, both of these heartbreakers, you have our sincerest condolences.

Is there anything you took away from those losses and what’s your best advice for putting a beat like that behind you?

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