The Closer Report: June 18, 2009

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IJune 19, 2009

PHOENIX - JUNE 14:  Releif pitcher Jose Valverde #47 of the Houston Astros pitches against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the major league baseball game at Chase Field on June 14, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Astros defeated the Diamondbacks 8-3.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Saves: 6
Save Opportunities: 9

KROD blows second save, while MacDougal saves second in a row. Valverde returns.
By Todd Farino,

It was a bad day for Francisco Rodriguez. He gave up a 4-3 lead, losing 5-4. He was all over the place and with 20 pitches thrown, only nine fell for strikes.

The inning started off with a bad curveball that was hit for a double and eventually he walked Adam Jones for the blown save. To be fair, Felix Pie was out on a bang-bang play at third base on a bunt by Brian Roberts, but the umpire got the call wrong.
Mike MacDougal recorded his second save of season and second in row against the Yankees. He came into the ninth with a secure 3-run lead. It was an uneventful save with only a single given up to Robinson Cano. He got another important double play off of the bat of Nick Swisher.
The Blue Jays pulled out every possible closer they had to save tonight's game. The assumed closer Frasor (not by me) came in the eighth inning and gave up the game tying single to Shane Victorino.

The inning ended with Victorino getting thrown out stealing. B.J. Ryan relieved him in the ninth inning and recorded one out and walked one. He was brought in to face the lefties Utley and Howard and was relieved by Accardo who got the final two outs, but not without some drama. Accardo got his first save of the season.
I cannot read what Cito Gaston is doing, but as I figured he likes Frasor for the eight inning. I'm not sure it will stay that way, but you could see a righty/lefty approach to closing with Ryan and Accardo. At least until one of them out pitches the other.
Ryan Madson blew his second save of the season by giving up the go ahead solo home run to Rod Barajas. He looked sharp and only needed 13 pitches for the inning, but threw one bad pitch. For some reason blown saves come in bunches across the majors.
We've had several this week after weeks of great closer performances and save streaks.
Jose Valverde made his long awaited return to closing and looked as though he didn't miss a beat. He only needed 10 pitchers to dispatch the Rangers, striking out big Chris Davis. However, don't get excited about that everyone strikes out Chris Davis. It was his third save of the season.

Other Appearances:
Huston Street (15) - He gave up two runs on three hits and nearly blew the save. Not his best performance.
Fernando Rodney (13) - Low end reliever Rodney scored another save for his owners. He struck out the side in dominating fashion.
Heath Bell - Bell scored his third win of the season pitching two innings and getting two strikeouts.
Kevin Gregg - Came into a tied game and got the win 6-5. He looked sharp on a day where Marmol wasn't.
Mike Gonzalez - pitched a mop up inning, striking out one. He wasn't sharp and lucky it was the Reds.
Rafael Soriano - Pitched perfect inning and struck out the side.
Randy Choate - Choate continues to show he has closer stuff. He threw 11 pitches, and struck out two in an inning of work against the Rockies.