A pitcher's job is to either protect a lead, keep a team in a game, or simply to keep the opposing team from scoring any runs. While it may be a simple job, there are players that either struggle with this, or play around with it.
An example of the latter is Bob Wickman. Fans of teams that he closed for know what I'm talking about. He always got the save in the end, but he always seemed to allow a couple batters on base in the process or allow a run if up by two, annoying fans and making it feel like he could blow the save at any moment.
Here is a player from each team who drives fans insane, whether it's a very inconsistent pitcher, one with ridiculous antics, or simply a new version of Wickman.
The Orioles pitching staff as a unit was bad last year, but even in that group, Brian Matusz seemed special. In 2010, he had a nice first full season, and expectations were fairly high for his 2011 encounter.
Instead, he had ten terrible starts in a row to end his season, including three where he could not complete the second inning. A 1-9 record and a 10.69 ERA in 12 appearances is just unacceptable.
Orioles fans know he can do better, and he showed he could in years past, but this year was insane to watch.
The obvious choice here would be John Lackey. He continually stinks for Boston, but at this point Red Sox fans know he stinks. It only drive them insane when he occasionally has a great game. He's too consistently bad to drive fans insane anymore.
Instead, the player annoying fans is Clay Buchholz, for the opposite reason. He continually pitches great for the Sox, and should be a key part of the rotation. However, he just cannot stay healthy.
If he could actually pitch 180 innings in a season, then the team's starting rotation would be so much more stable, it's annoying to know that the Sox have that number two guy, he's just barely on the mound.
For whatever reason, Joba Chamberlain seems to infuriate many Yankee fans and drive them insane. As an outsider to that, I'm not entirely sure why. He had a solid 2011, pitching a 2.83 ERA in 27 relief appearances.
What I do get is that they want Chamberlain to be a starter, but he hasn't quite been good enough there to make a cut. He's a good reliever, but that hasn't been the intended use, and as a result the Yankees have to sign guys like Bartolo Colon to fill the fifth gap.
This is a tough one, since the Rays don't really have any pitchers that can cause insanity. However, given that Wade Davis is on the trading block, he almost falls into this.
Davis has been pitching just good enough that he is worth trying to trade to acquire some players in weak spots, but is pitching just poorly enough that the Rays are not going to get much for him, making him a tough sell and likely preventing the Rays from getting anything for him.
Kyle Drabek was the cornerstone of the Roy Halladay trade, so he has to be able to work out. He stunk in his first full season with Toronto, but he's young and they will shrug off this season.
What drive fans insane is the possibility that he will continue to put up those kinds of numbers, which would mark the Halladay trade as a failure even if Travis D'Arnaud turns out alright.
The White Sox seem to have bad luck in acquiring other teams' talent. The acquisition of Jake Peavy was supposed to turn the White Sox into contenders, forming a combo with Mark Buehrle.
Instead, Peavy has been a shell of his former self. White Sox fans know the Peavy of old should be in there, but they have yet to see him.
The point of the Indians' young rotation in 2011 was to have Fausto Carmona and Justin Masterson serve as a one-two punch ahead of the young guns.
Masterson did his part, but Carmona had another awful season. He continues to drive fans insane since he either seems to have a great year or a terrible year, with little in between. what can you do with a pitcher like that, since his inconsistency is unmarketable?
As crazy as Jose Valverde can get on the mound, as least he does a great job. Did anyone in Detroit actually like Brad Penny or was not driven insane by his poor pitching and ugly occasional wins?
Joakim Soria has been a great closer year in and year out, yet trade talks have run rampant, annoying fans. As a result, he had his first average year this past season, which could be in part due to the trade rumors.
Now, those who wanted him traded are being driven insane since they feel an opportunity was missed last year, while those who wanted him kept feel like his past season was hurting their stance. It's a bad position to be in for a pitcher.
Francisco Liriano,like many others on this list, is a pitcher who can have flashes of glory. When he's hot, he's great, and when he's cold, he's terrible. However, that inconsistency is what causes trouble.
The Twins' rotation had enough problems in 2011 without two guy with an ERA over five weighing it down. Twins fans have seen Liriano at his best, but are certainly frustrated given that the greatness only occasionally pops up.
He only played one game last year, but I'm counting him. The Angels are hoping that signing C.J. Wilson will erase any memories left of Kazmir, as that was perhaps the worst trade the Angels have made in recent memory, excluding Vernon Wells of course.
His lack of production after being consistent before the trade makes Angels fans glad he was released.
Every time the Athletics get a pitcher up and running, they trade him before he turns bad. Barry Zito, Mark Mulder, and many others apply there.
As a result, there's rarely an opportunity for a pitcher to drive fans insane. If anything, technically management would be the ones driving fans insane, since with the latest exodus they'll most likely lose 100 games in 2012.
King Felix is no question the ace of the Mariners' solid pitching staff and a great guy to watch play. Why does he drive fans insane? The sole reason he's on here is because he's so good, there are constant trade rumors thrown about.
Mariners fans having to continually listen to trade possibilities for Hernandez when we know he's not going anywhere would drive me insane too.
There aren't really any Rangers pitchers that drive fans insane much, so I went with Wilson. Why is that? The team's ace faltered in the playoffs, then signed elsewhere, perhaps forcing an overpay on Yu Darvish.
By the time 2011 rolled around, many Braves fans felt they overpaid for Derek Lowe. After the season was done, any who didn't believe that converted, as besides being an innings eater, he had little use.
The fact that he was holding a spot that a top prospect could have been using is what began annoying fans, and they were glad they were able to trade him.
Josh Johnson should be the team ace, as there's no question he has the arm for that. What makes it so frustrating is that he keeps getting hurt. He's gotta be a 200-inning guy more than once, seeing as how hes on his eighth season now.
I was tempted to just title this "all of them" and be done with it, as let's face it, that's not too far off. However, Mike Pelfrey is a step above the other pitchers in terms of driving fans insane.
He shows flashes of competence, yet at the same time has flat-out terrible games. Unlike Carmona and Liriano, who others may want to take a shot on, Pelfrey has already been shopped and no one seemed to want him, so Mets fans are stuck with him.
The Phillies had the best pitching staff this past season, and had one of the better ones last year as well, both in the rotation and the bullpen. This was no thanks to Danys Baez.
He was given plenty of playing time when any other pitcher on the roster would have been an improvement, frustrating Phillies fans, and his release in August couldn't have come soon enough for them.
Many of the Nationals starters have either gotten injured or were high-risk to begin with, so this is a tough one. When it comes to Jason Marquis, however, he has just been ineffective.
He was terrible in 2010 after earning a nice contract, and was just decent enough in 2011 so that the Nats could actually trade him, so Arizona fans got to experience the insanity the Nationals fans knew.
Zambrano has talent, but after all the issues this past season, no one knows if he'll even be back. If they're rebuilding, then the Cubs should be able to get a lot for him, but the implosion renders him useless trade-wise.
Not only did Volquez have the 50-game suspension in 2010, but he was just bad this season. He just can't seem to stay on the field like he did in 2008, and fans know it's for the better that he's now over in San Diego.
The Astros were dead last in ERA last year; heck, Colorado had a better team ERA. The reason Happ is the victim on the slideshow is because he's what worries the Astros about trading Brett Myers or Wandy Rodriguez.
Happ was the main piece in the Roy Oswalt trade, and went 6-15 with a 5.35 ERA last year. If he doesn't improve, then that trade will have been a failure.
Unlike many others on this list, K-Rod was great for the Brewers this year, finishing with a 1.86 ERS after being acquired from the Mets. However, he keeps wanting to be a closer, yet the Brewers want to keep him.
He makes a great setup man, but he does have a point, making a difficult decision for the Brewers.
The fact that he went 1-11 last year was painful enough, but then he wanted more money in spite of that, and actually got it. He had an 8.15 ERA in nine games to thank for that, to the annoyance of Pittsburgh fans.
The Cardinals' pitching staff really got going despite the loss of Adam Wainwright, but it was no thanks to Ryan Franklin. He seemed to slow down in 2010, and this past season he completely collapsed.
The fact that he couldn't get it going at all annoyed fans and management so much that he was gone halfway through the year, and I'd be shocked if he played again.
The Diamondbacks acquired Joe Saunders to be a workhorse in the middle of their rotation, and that is precisely what they got. He went 200 innings and did enough for the team.
Now, the fourth starter in the rotation wants nine million a year to stay in Arizona, frustrating fans since he could have anchored a very good rotation heading into 2012.
The Colorado Rockies have a lot of pitchers who will naturally struggle and have high ERAs due to playing in Coors Field. The pitcher that fans seem to hate, however, is Huston Street. Why is that? He's the Bob Wickman example I gave earlier for the most part.
Saving 29 games and keeping an ERA under four is quite good for Colorado, especially a 2.15 ERA away (a 5.59 ERA at home, however, may be why fans were annoyed). He's now in San Diego, where there's no excuse for pitchers not to be good.
It's always worrisome to fans of a team when they give a big deal to an aging pitcher, which is what happened with Ted Lilly. He was okay this past season, but was generally considered a pitcher for the back end of the rotation.
The fact that he has two more years left on his contract means that fans are not looking forward to him wrapping up that contract.
The Padres always seem to have a good pitching staff, partially thanks to playing in PetCo Park. As a result, it's tough to get frustrated at any of the pitchers, since the team's hitting is usually its weak spot.
Do I really have to explain this one?