This team is kind of like the Dutch boy trying to plug the holes in the dike. No sooner does he stick a finger into one hole than another pops open.
The impact of guys like Gio and Gallagher having no ability to throw strikes and an offense that can't achieve separation in a low-scoring game is a bullpen that is over taxed. Geren tried to coax more than one inning out of Bailey two days after he did the same and saw Bailey survive despite 5 baserunners. Today it blew up-- and then he made the only move left which was to turn the game over to an increasingly ineffective Brad Ziegler, to a predictable result.
Pennant contention is probably not very realistic this season. but I do think a team will benefit if the bullpen roles can be more firmly established. Ziegler was a wonderful story last year, but he simply is not a closer. his stuff isn't good enough.. he can't get lefties out consistently.. and darn if that WBC curse which seems to afflict pitchers at an alarming rate didn't strike again. I can't prove it had anything to do with him getting sick, but he did... and he is simply not the same pitcher. I don't think he's deserving of even the prinxipal set-up role. If it wasn't for Sweeney's heroics he would have blown last night's game as well.
Make Bailey the closer-- and a one-inning closer to maximize the impact of his stuff. Make Wuertz the principal set-up man, along with Breslow in LHB situations. Put Ziegler along with Casilla and Springer in the 5-7 inning slot. And stick with it. This team needs consistency. We seem to have at least 3 starters capable of going 6 innings now, so maybe the pen can get a much needed break.
As for allowing the likes of Crosby and Hannahan to get critical ABs in late inning pressure situations with RISP, that's the next project. I don't think Geren is capable of much multi-tasking-- let's see him stabilize the bullpen first.