• Up 4-3 heading into the ninth, Jonathan Papelbon was called on for the save tonight and he converted it for his 33rd of the year. However, of more interest as this point is setup man Ken Giles, who struck out three in a perfect frame while earning a win in the process. On the year Giles has 47 strikeouts in 32.2 innings pitched with a 1.38/1.48/2.00 ERA/FIP/xFIP. Regardless if Papelbon remains in Philadelphia this year and next, Giles is worth owning and he’s certainly worth noting for next year as he’ll be one of the top non-save relievers in the league who could even see some saves if a few things shake out in his favor.
• Jenrry Mejia has battled various ailments and some sub par performances recently, but he threw a scoreless inning tonight allowing one hit and recording a strikeout for his 19th save of the year. There has been some chatter about Mejia being shutdown at some point this season, and it’s not completely misguided given his injury history and his hernia that will require offseason surgery, but nothing has come from the Mets camp so I’d continue to expect Mejia to close from here on out. Of course, with that said Jeurys Familia remains a necessary handicap for Mejia owners.
• Nothing comes easy for Joe Nathan these days but he was able the throw a perfect ninth tonight for his 28th save. Joakim Soria isn’t due back immediately but he should return soon from his oblique injury and when he returns, Nathan will have to have a few more outings like tonight to avoid losing his hold on the ninth inning.
• No save situation for the Royals, but Wade Davis got his seventh win and with an ERA well under one (0.78) and 86 strikeouts, Davis is making the James Shields trade somewhat palatable right now for Royals fans. Davis was able to get the win because Glen Perkins blew the save for the Twins in the ninth, his fifth of the season after a two-run homer from Alex Gordon.
• Rough night for Casey Janssen as he allowed four runs against the Red Sox. He actually threw a scoreless 10th inning but fell apart in the top of the 11th. Janssen had a 1.23 ERA in 22 innings over the first half of the season but since then has been very hittable. In 14.2 innings in the second half thus far, Janssen has allowed 20 hits and 14 runs. I wouldn’t say his job is in danger over the final month for the Jays, but if his struggles persist, the Jays could look to shut his season down given his injury history as well.
• Quick Hits: Mark Melancon notched his 23rd save for the Pirates tonight, putting up zeros against the Cardinals. Zach Britton threw a perfect ninth for his 28th save lowering his ERA under two to 1.98. Hector Rondon recorded save number 22 for the Cubs and overall has had a nice season for them. With the young cavalry coming for the Cubs and the potential for them to open up their wallets this offseason, Rondon should be a solid closing option again next year with a likely more formidable team around him. There have been some Chad Qualls trade rumors floating around, but right now he’s still on the Astros and got his 15th save for them this evening against the A’s, after Luke Gregerson blew the lead in the eighth.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]