The Closer Report (May 21)

Todd Farino@truegurufarinoCorrespondent IMay 22, 2009

JUPITER, FL - FEBRUARY 20:  Pitcher Ryan Franklin #31 of the St. Louis Cardinals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 20, 2009 in Jupiter, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

Saves: 7
Save Opportunities: 8
Franklin, Hoffman and Fuentes join the leaders at 11 saves
By Todd Farino,

The saves slowed down a bit today, but there was still plenty of action. Ryan Franklin continues to relish his new role as St. Louis's closer. He got his 11th save of the season tonight and has the numbers to back it up.
Overall, Franklin has a tiny 1.53 ERA and an even smaller WHIP of 0.81. He has clearly surprised everyone and has so far been one of the the top waiver pickup of 2009.

Fernando Rodney started slowly this year, but of late has been on fire. He has scored saves in three straight games and now has 8 saves on the season.

He had a bit of a rocky inning tonight, but held the Rangers scoreless and secured the 4-3 win.

Mariano Rivera recorded his second save of the week, but has had a slow month of May with only four saves. He easily dispatched Orioles to get his ninth save of the season.
Joel Hanrahan came back as the closer for Washington and pitched a great inning for his fourth save. He struck out two and gave up a hit in one of his best performances of the year.
While Manny Acta hasn't formally announced that Hanrahan is the closer, he made a statement today by not having any faith in Kip Wells to close out the ninth.
Wells was rested and hadn't pitched since May 18. If you held on to Hanrahan as I did, you got your closer back. Hopefully, crazy Manny could change that.
The lone blown save for the day goes to Brian Wilson of the Giants. Heath Bell came into a 1-1 tie in the ninth and gave up his first run of the season and looked to take the loss. Wilson, however, doubled up Bell and took the loss along with the blown save: two hits, two walks, and two runs.
Bell was hammered in his first bad outing of the season and was lucky to get away with only giving up one run thanks to a slow Bengie Molina. He gave up four hits in the inning. He officially has a ERA, although its a microscopic 0.50.

Other appearances:
Brian Fuentes (11) - Fuentes is hot with 7 saves in May.
Chad Qualls (10) - Getting chances with good starting pitching of lately.
Trevor Hoffman (11) - He is on a tear and he started the season on the DL.
Jonathan Papelbon. Francona wanted to sweep Toronto badly and he used Paps to guarantee it.
Brad Ziegler - Took the loss by giving up a run on two hits and a walk. He did not record an out.