Jim Johnson surrendered a hit and fanned one in a clean inning of work to notch his 48th save of the season. The thirty-year-old has now saved nine in-a-row, making him 48-of-57 on the season. The Orioles will face the Red Sox in a three-game series to conclude the twenty-thirteen season, giving Johnson a few more opportunities to eclipse the 50 save mark for the second straight season. Aside from the lack of production in the strikeout category, Johnson paid handsome dividends for his fantasy baseball owners that were willing to reach for him at his average draft position of 123.
Greg Holland took to the bump for the 67th time this season tonight, equaling the number of appearances he made just a year ago. But aside from the number of appearances, Holland’s stat sheet will look significantly different than 2012’s. Tonight’s save thrusted the right-hander’s impressive total to 47 on the year. Entering Thursday, the Royal’s ninth-inning man fanned more than 40% of the batters he faced — up from 31.5% in ‘12 — and surrendered free passes to just 6.9% of opponents — down from 11.8% last year. Holland’s ERA (1.23, 1.35 FIP) and WHIP (0.83) continued to dip after tonight’s outing, and barring a major implosion, will be career bests for the reliever. The soon-to-be 28-year-old will surely be among the top-ten closers selected in fantasy baseball drafts in 2013.
Jim Henderson served up two-hits — one of which left the park — but fanned three en route to his 27th save of the season. The homer Henderson served up was the fifth he’s surrendered in his last ten outings — making it eight earned allowed since August 31st. The 30-year-old Canadian is now 27-of-31 in save opportunities in ‘13 with a 2.75 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP.
And like Colin noted last evening, Mariano Rivera took to the bump in Yankee Stadium for the last time tonight in a 4-0 Bombers loss to the Rays. The future Hall-of-Famer induced two groundouts and two fly-ball outs in tonight’s thirteen-pitch clean effort. Although there was no save attached to this evening’s lines, Mo’s entrance and exit was an incredibly emotional and amazing moment for Yankee and baseball fans alike.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]
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