WHEN Kevin Comer entered Adelaide’s opening night clash with Perth and blew a two-run lead you would be forgiven for labelling it a nervous blemish.
But just over a week after Derek Peterson’s three-run triple walked the Heat off the Bite’s inability to close games has reached (beyond) concerning levels.
Adelaide are bottom of the ABL with a 1-6 record, its worse start after seven games in the relaunched league.
Those six losses have been utterly painful for the Bite.
All six have been by one run, and four of them in walk-off fashion.
And in all but one, Adelaide held a lead.
That is the most alarming part.
The efforts of starters Steven Chambers, Matthew Williams, Elroy Urbina and Matthew Swilley have put the Bite in winning positions.
But its bullpen is freezing when it comes to the last three outs.
In four ninth-innings where Adelaide has been required to pitch its combined line is more horrific than any Halloween costume you would have seen yesterday.
The Bite’s pitching staff have put together a combined ERA of 22.09 in the ninth, allowing nine runs on six hits while walking seven of 23 batters faced.
Just one hitter has been struck out and two ninth-inning wild pitches have helped the opposition cause.
Adelaide has blown a 4-2, 2-0 and 6-2 lead in what is meant to be the final inning of a ballgame.
Its relievers also failed to hold a 4-1 advantage on Saturday night against the Bandits and Bite fans would not be blamed if they had no confidence in the side preserving a bigger lead.
The bullpen has struggled big time.
Adelaide has allowed 32 runs on the season and half of them have been on relievers, despite the bullpen pitching only 20 innings compared to 41.2 by starters.
The Bite’s relievers have also walked just two less hitters despite so little time on the mound.
There have been some positives. Last season’s Rookie of the Year Josh Tols has impressed in his three outings and Kody Kerski looked solid.
But right now, any Adelaide starter leaving a game with a “W” next to his name would not be certain of it remaining there.
The Bite close out a four-game series with the Bandits today, looking to avoid its first sweep since January 2014 (away to Perth).