The Closer Report: June 4, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 24:  Mariano Rivera #42 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Philadelphia Phillies on May 24, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Todd FarinoCorrespondent IJune 5, 2009
Saves: 6
Save Opportunities: 6
Papelbon and Fuentes reach 14, while JP Howell gets the call for the Rays.
By Todd Farino,

It was another day of few saves, but several of the stud closers got the job done. Mariano Rivera got out of trouble against the Rangers to win 8-6. With one out and runners on the corners he struck out Nelson Cruz and got David Murphy to pop up. It wasn't a pretty save, but it was a save.
Papelbon had control issues today and these issues have plagued him his last few appearances. The key to Papelbon's success is his high strike. Today he had problems getting anything up and walked the lead off batter in the ninth and took the next two batters to 3-2 counts before getting the next three outs.
Again, it wasn't pretty and with the amount of pitches he through I don't think we will see Papelbon tomorrow and possibly even Saturday. He is looking tire and is in need of a few days off.
JP Howell got the call for the Rays today and pitched a perfect inning with a strikeout. I could say he brought him in to face lefties, but he faced two nighties and one lefty in Mike Jacobs, so Madden probably just felt good about Howell today.
We cannot say that he is the closer and we don't think he is at this point. I would recommend adding him if you have the roster spot.
Brain Wilson continues to demand respect with another great outing. He came in to pitch with two outs in the eighth inning and ended up striking out all four batters he faced. He did walk one and gave up a hit in the process, but overall was an outstanding performance securing a 5-1 win for the Giants. It was Wilson's 13th save.


Other Appearances
Joel Hanrahan - Got absolutely hammered for four hits and three runs in a non-save situation. The Nationals officially have no bullpen.
Brian Fuentes (14)- Struck out the side, but gave up a hit and a walk.
Matt Lindstrom (11) - If there was any worry about Lindstrom losing his job, he didn't. He looked great today striking out one and giving up a lone hit.

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