On Saturday, the Miami Marlins sat in the clubhouse for 2.5 hours, waiting for the weather in Washington, D.C. to clear up so they could play the ninth inning. Miami had a 6-5 lead over the first place Nationals, who were playing their first game since shutting Stephen Strasburg down for the year.
The rains subsided, the play resumed and Heath Bell took the mound for the Marlins.
With 150 minutes to think about it, you'd think that Ozzie Guillen would have reconsidered using Bell. Or maybe he thought there was nothing to win or lose with this game, so why not build up Bell's confidence for 2013.
Either way, the tarp was removed and so was the Marlins lead. The leadoff batter, Jayson Werth, homered to tie the game. What was supposed to be a formality, the finishing of a rain-delayed game, turned into an extra-innings affair.
The Nationals would win, 7-6, in extra innings. Chad Gaudin was credited with the loss, but this is yet another game that should hang on Heath Bell's ledger.
There are many eye-popping numbers regarding Heath Bell's horrifying 2012 season. His $6 million paycheck for this season is one, along with his $3 million raise he is owed for next year. His -1.0 WAR does not help.
His 10.4 hits per nine innings is terrible for a closer. His 5.63 ERA is grotesque.
But the most surprising stat might be his seven blown saves out of 19 opportunities. In other words, more than a quarter of his save opportunities have been blown.
That is horrible. However, the main reason it is surprising is because it seems like so many more blown saves.
The Marlins have to pay Bell $9 million next year. They had better find a role for him. The job of closing games might not be an option.
The numbers do not lie.
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