It is unreasonable to expect their pitchers to go out every start and protect a 3-run offensive output. Even the best pitchers need a spell. When your lead is always no more than 2 or 3, even one runner on base creates a high-stress situation. Eventually, that will wear on a guy.
Whereas a pitcher with 2 Cy Young awards (Timmy) or perhaps a pitcher that is regularly deified for his professional ethic and for carrying a subpar staff for the few years before it became sublime (Cain) probably can deal with such games with a plum. Those pitchers that are more emotionally fragile due to temperament (Sanchez), immaturity or inexperience (Bumgarner and maybe Vogelsong), or consistent scrutiny and criticism (Zito) are more apt to eventually collapse like a house of cards.
Without run support, this fantastic pitching staff is liable to fail and leave or fail and never recover.
On freaking notice:
- Mark DeRosa (DFA today)
- Miguel Tejada (DFA today)
- Mike Fontenot (cannot be a regular starter)
- Power outage (Pablo Sandoval still has the team lead in HR's, despite missing the last 3 weeks w/ injury)
- Dan Runzler (AAA if he has options)
- Jeremy Affeldt (less of a role, please)