It's hard for a bullpen to recover from allowing four free baserunners without retiring a batter, though Fernando Salas did his best to make it work, but Miguel Batista—whose ERA is now 1.69, and RA 4.50—and Trever Miller just didn't have it Friday, despite coming in in a perfect situation for low-leverage relieve work.
Those guys have to pitch eventually, and there are worse situations than a 5-2 game in the seventh inning, but I'd be lying if I said I understood why—with Fernando Salas ready to go two innings—they would even mess with Batista in the first place. It's not at all the old relievers' fault exclusively; neither Eduardo Sanchez nor Jason Motte looked great. But at some point it would be nice to see one of them, whether it's Miller, Franklin, or Batista, become a reliable set-up-man-set-up-man.
It's hard to lose games like this, but I'd rather lose games where the team is fundamentally solid than blowouts and cartoons—with six hits in the middle of the order and a nice night from the bottom of it, not to mention another solid start from Kyle Lohse, this team played well enough to win and just didn't. In the long run didn't is better than couldn't, frustrating as didn't is to watch.