-Welp, Daisuke Matsuzaka earned a save today — the first of his career — in a 1-2-3 top of the ninth-inning for the Metropolitans. Glad I didn’t make the “I’ll eat my hat bet” with Dice-K never earning a save, like I almost did last evening. Not sure how well I’d digest a brim. Anywho, Matsuzaka needed just 15 to pitches to retire Allen Craig, Daniel Descalso and Peter Bourjos to give the Mets a 4-1 victory over the Cardinals in Flushing. He now owns a 1.69 ERA (2.16 xFIP) in 5.1 innings on the hill. But don’t go racing to the waiver wire to put in your claims just yet, Kyle Farnsworth is still the go-to man for Terry Collins in save situations, thankfully. It’s just nice to know that the skipper considers Matsuzaka a sturdy backup just in case Farnsworth is unable to go, for whatever reason. Please pass the Tums.
–Jonathan Broxton notched his fourth save of the season as the Reds sunk the Pirates, 2-1. The burly right-hander needed just twelve pitches to seal the deal in a clean inning of work in the bottom half of the ninth. Broxton is doing a fair job of keeping the closer’s chair warm for Aroldis Chapman, who is slated to toss another live bullpen session this weekend in Atlanta. This time, Chapman will go without the screen, then head off to a rehab assignment if all goes well. Seems like a speedy recovery for what appeared to be a disastrous injury. It’s unlikely that you can pry Chapman from his fake owners if they’ve been waiting on him this long, but hey, maybe it’s worth a shot?
–Addison Reed made quick work of the Cubs in the home half of the ninth-inning today. The former crosstown rival fanned Mike Olt, then induced a Welington Castillo pop out and a groundout off the bat of Ryan Kalish on just ten pitches to clinch his fifth save of the young season. Reed is now 5-of-6 on the season in save chances with a 3.27 ERA (3.61 xFIP) and a 26% K%.
–Glen Perkins picked up his fifth save of the year in a 9-7 Twinkies victory over the Rays. Perkins has two strikeouts in five of his nine appearances. Not bad. Joe Nathan walked one, but struck out two en route to his fourth save of the season. As I noted in earlier versions of the Bullpen Report, Nathan’s velocity and ability to induce swings-and-misses are down a tick in the early part of ‘14. Hopefully those numbers creep back up as the season wears on. Huston Street surrendered a leadoff double to Bryce Harper, but escaped a bit of a jam to grab his eighth save of the season.
Lots of yelling and screaming on the Twitter machine regarding Ernesto Frieri‘s status in the Angels’ bullpen. His last five appearances have been awful. He’s surrendered six runs on twelve hits in three-and-two-thirds. Some think he won’t hold down the ninth in the near future. And some think whoever said that is just crazy. If you’re not sure what to think but are chasing saves, Joe Smith seems to be the “just in case” add in Anaheim.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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