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Bullpen Report: September 5, 2012

John Axford won an 11-pitch duel with Rob Brantly by inducing a fly ball to left field for the third out in the ninth-inning and the 8-5 victory for the Crew over the Marlins. The save was Axford’s seventh consecutive successful conversion and 25th in 33 chances this season.

• For the first time in 2012, Craig Kimbrel spent more than an inning on the bump for the Braves. Kimbrel was summoned with two outs in the eighth in relief of Eric O’Flaherty to attempt the four-out save. The righty faced five batters — striking out four and walking one — en route to his 33rd save of the year.

Rafael Soriano made quick work of the Rays in the ninth tonight — inducing fly balls to each of the three batters he faced on just 12 pitches. Since taking over the closer’s role for the Yankees, Soriano is 36-of-39 in save opportunities, good enough for third best among all MLB closers at the time of this writing. The right-hander needs just nine more saves to tie a career best of 46, which he achieved while a member of the Rays in 2010.

For those of you who play daily fantasy games like FanGraphs: The Game, or just like to stream players, here is a matchup you may be able to exploit.

A Pitcher for Tomorrow: Tyler Clippard (WAS) vs. CHC

Jordan Zimmerman takes the hill tomorrow against the Cubbies, and if he performs like he has most of the season, he should put the Nationals in a good spot for a save. Clippard quietly racked up 30 saves so far this season and is perfect in each of his last eight chances.

Closer Grid:

Closer First Second Off 25-Man
Arizona J.J. Putz David Hernandez Takashi Saito
Atlanta Craig Kimbrel Eric O’Flaherty Jonny Venters
Baltimore Jim Johnson Pedro Strop Darren O’Day
Boston Andrew Bailey Alfredo Aceves Mark Melancon
Chicago (NL) Carlos Marmol James Russell Shawn Camp
Chicago (AL) Addison Reed Brett Myers Matt Thornton
Cincy Aroldis Chapman Jonathan Broxton Sean Marshall
Cleveland Chris Perez Vinnie Pestano Tony Sipp
Colorado Rafael Betancourt Matt Belisle Rex Brothers
Detroit Jose Valverde Joaquin Benoit Octavio Dotel
Houston Wilton Lopez Wesley Wright Fernando Rodriguez
KC Greg Holland Kelvin Herrera Aaron Crow
LAA Ernesto Frieri Scott Downs Jordan Walden
LAD Kenley Jansen Brandon League Ronald Belisario
Miami Steve Cishek Heath Bell Mike Dunn
Milwaukee John Axford Kameron Loe Francisco Rodriguez
Minnesota Glen Perkins Jared Burton Alex Burnett Matt Capps
NY (NL) Frank Francisco Bobby Parnell Jon Rauch
NY (AL) Rafael Soriano David Robertson Boone Logan
Oakland Grant Balfour Ryan Cook Sean Doolittle
Philly Jonathan Papelbon Antonio Bastardo Josh Lindblom
Pittsburgh Joel Hanrahan Jason Grilli Chris Resop
St. Louis Jason Motte Mitchell Boggs Edward Mujica
SD Luke Gregerson Dale Thayer Brad Brach Huston Street
SF Sergio Romo Javier Lopez Santiago Casilla
Seattle Tom Wilhelmsen Stephen Pryor Charlie Furbush
Tampa Bay Fernando Rodney Joel Peralta Kyle Farnsworth
Texas Joe Nathan Mike Adams Alexei Ogando
Toronto Casey Janssen Brandon Lyon Darren Oliver
Wash. Tyler Clippard Drew Storen Sean Burnett

[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]