The Closer Report: June 2, 2009

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IJune 3, 2009

CHICAGO - MAY 16: Kevin Gregg #63 of the Chicago Cubs leaves the field after giving up two home runs, two singles and hitting a Houston Astro batter on May 16, 2009 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 5-4. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Saves: 5
Save Opportunities: 7


Papelbon faces 6 batters with no runs, Broxton saves 12th
By Todd Farino,

A five-save day is bad and two blown saves make it even worse. Today was a bad day for closers.

There were plenty of appearances for closers starting with Jonathan Papelbon. It wasn't a save situation since the Red Sox were up 5-1, but after he gave up three straight singles to open the inning with lack of control, he turned it into one. Papelbon then went into what he calls, "punchout mode" and struck out the next three batters.

The new technique hitters are now trying on Papelbon is swinging at the first pitch and almost every other one. It's not working, he is still pitching great.

Jonathan Broxton recorded his 12th save tonight while the Dodgers won, 6-5, over the Diamondbacks. He struck out two in the process and has increased his closer lead strikeout total to 41. His WHIP lowered to 0.69.

One of two blown saves for the day was from a closer in my Closer Dog House.

Kevin Gregg gave up two runs on only one hit. To his defense he struck out Garrett Anderson, but Anderson got to first base on a wild pitch. Jeff Francoeur then blasted a two-run bomb to tie the score. It was another bad performance for Gregg even with two strikeouts. Pinella won't make any moves yet, but Gregg is on a short leash.

Huston Street just had a bad night. Lucky for him he only gave up one unearned run. Street made a bad throw to first base on Michael Bourn's bunt. He then gave up a hit to blow the save and after getting a double play he walked two more batters. This is Street's second blow save in a row. His biggest demon is getting back up after a bad outing. This could last three or four games. Hopefully he will recover by the next save chance.

Other Appearances:
Matt Capps (12) - Capps is on a roll and looking sharp lately.
Mike Gonzalez - Had a tough inning walking one and giving up a hit.
Joe Nathan (10) - Nathan is on fire and pitched 1.1 innings for the save.
Brad Zeigler - Two hits and a walk. Another WHIP blowing performance.
Ryan Franklin (13) - He is a machine. I don't know when the wheels will fall off, but enjoy it.