Ernesto Frieri locked down his 33rd save of the year as the Angels clipped the Blue Jays 4-3 tonight in Toronto. He yielded a hit and a free pass, but fanned two Jays in a 35-pitch effort to seal the deal. Frieri is now 33-of-37 in save chances on the year with a 3.79 ERA (3.44 FIP) and a 1.26 WHIP. Considering the fact it took the right-hander 35 tosses to finish off the Blue Birds — just one night after throwing 17 pitches — fantasy baseballers may want to t take a chance on Dane de la Rosa as a streaming reliever on Friday in case Frieri needs the rest. De la Rosa is 2-of-5 in save chances this year with 16 holds and sports a whiff rate just barely north of 20%. But at this point in the year, a save is a save is a save.
Fernando Rodney’s ERA may have been a bit flukey in twenty-twelve thanks to a career-best average allowed on balls in play (.220 BABIP vs. .285 career) and a strand rate (89.4%) significantly higher than his career average of 72.9%, but the guy with the crooked hat continues to shoot the moon — or whatever that business is. Tonight, Rodney yielded a walk and a hit, but escaped the visitor’s half of the ninth without causing his team any damage. The save became his 34th on the season in 42 chances. Unfortunately, the Dominican’s eight blown saves is the second-most of any reliever with at least 30 successful conversions this eason — just one behind Jim Johnson’s nine blown chances entering tonight.
After a restful evening and a Kyle Farnsworth save sighting, Mark Melancon trotted back to the bump for his 16th save opportunity with the Bucs leading the Cubbies, 4-1. Melancon surrendered a one-out hit to Anthony Rizzo, but induced a couple of quick out and snuck away with his 14th save of twenty-thirteen. The Pirates’ bullpen carried a 2.91 ERA — good enough for third-best in the majors — heading into tonight’s game against the Cubs.
Quick Hitters: Jim Henderson tossed a meatball to Matt Adams, who sent the ball sailing into the stands, but overcame the homer to earn his 25th save on the year. Mariano Rivera picked up a win, while Jim Johnson took a loss in the same game. In the same game, David Robertson served up three earned in last night’s outing for the Yankees.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]