• Sean Burnett entered in the ninth-inning of the Nationals’ contest last evening versus the Metropolitans with a save on the line. The lefty yielded two hits in two-thirds of an inning before Davey Johnson asked right-hander, and former closer, Drew Storen to get the last out with runners on first and third. Storen did just that — inducing a David Murphy fly ball out to center field to earn his second save of the season.
Despite the save from Drew Storen, Tyler Clippard’s job as closer should remain secure in the nation’s capital for the remainder of 2012. Clippard has experienced some recent hiccups — allowing five earned runs in his last five outings — but his absence may have simply been a case of the Nationals getting the “goggled one” some rest after he made appearances in four of the previous five nights. On the season, Clippard is 31-of-34 in save opportunities with a 3.18 ERA (4.03 xFIP) and a 2.89 K/BB.
• For those of you searching for some late-season holds, look no further than one percent owned (Y! and ESPN) LOOGY, Tom Layne of the Padres. I briefly discussed Layne back in August when the Padres selected his contract from Triple-A, and Eno later covered the pitcher’s new release point leading to his recent success. Anyway, since the aforementioned call-up, Layne is 1-0 with two saves, six holds a 1.54 ERA (0.95 xFIP) and an impressive 10.00 K/BB. Did I mention he pitches his home games at Petco?
• Here’s a quickie: Joe Nathan blew his second save of the year tonight, ending a streak of 31 consecutive conversions dating back to April 15th. Nathan’s 33 saves are good enough for fifth best in the American League.
• Rafael Soriano has been magnificent this season filling in for the legendary Mariano Rivera. The Dominican right-hander’s success continued tonight, as he needed just 12 pitches to earn his 38th save in 41 opportunities — lowering his ERA to 2.14 in 61 appearances. Stemming from Soriano’s success are rumors that the reliever will exercise his opt-out clause in his contract, making him a free agent at the conclusion of the 2012 season. If Soriano does indeed opt-out, he will be leaving $14-million on the table with the hopes of landing a multi-year contract.
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: Jonathan Broxton (CIN) vs. MIA
Broxton notched his first save as a member of the Reds on Tuesday, but got the night off on Wednesday after pitching on two consecutive nights. With Aroldis Chapman resting, expect Broxton — and to a lesser extent Sean Marshall — to get continue getting save opportunities should the Reds be in position.
[Green light, yellow light, red light: the colors represent the volatility of the bullpen order.]