The Closer Report: June 19, 2009

Todd FarinoCorrespondent IJune 20, 2009

Saves: 7
Save Opportunities: 7
Fuentes gets league leading 19th save while K-Rod bounces back for his 18th
by Todd Farino,
Francisco Rodriguez bounced back from a horrible inning last night, quickly wrapping up Friday evening's game with a one-two-three ninth inning. He didn't strike out any batters but only needed ten pitches to record the save.
Brian Fuentes is the little engine that could! With a few bad innings and a high 1.41 WHIP, Fuentes hasn't exactly been lights-out, and tonight wasn't much different. He gave up a hit, got an easy out on a sacrifice, and then struck out Casey Blake. You'd think he would end the game on the next batter, but instead he walked Ethier before striking out Kemp. It was like a microcosm of this season, in which he's been good, then bad, then good. Right now he is alright and leads the league in saves. You can't doubt his production.
Brian Wilson threw a quiet ninth inning for his National League-leading (with Rodriguez) 18th save. Wilson has saved eight straight, posted 12 strikeouts during the streak, and has lowered his ERA from 4.63 to 3.34. Besides one bad week this season, Wilson has been outstanding and has proven he's a stud closer.
David Aardsma just continues to amaze me. He got his 13th save of the season, and for giggles, struck out the side. But the real reason he is amazing so far is in the numbers: Aardsma has struck out two-plus batters 11 times this season and is currently ranked second among closers with 39 strikeouts. His ERA is at 1.72, but he's maintained that with 20 walks. What does this all mean?
Aardsma is on borrowed time. He is pitching out of his you know what right now, but is bound to start giving up some home runs or paying for some of those walks. Only six of his 20 walks have resulted in scoring this season, so eventually more will burn him; I'd trade him in the next two weeks.
In Toronto the closer saga continues with both Accardo and Frasor pitching tonight. Accardo came in and threw impressive eighth and ninth innings; he struck out four and looked like the Accardo who was saving for Toronto last season.
Then Frasor came in and gave up a run on two hits and two walks. So far Accardo looks to be the front runner for the Jays' closer spot, but we know he won't pitch tomorrow. Look for Ryan to get a chance to close if Toronto has a lead going into the ninth.

Other Appearances:
  • Francisco Cordero (17): Gave up a run on two hits but scored the save.
  • Joe Nathan (16): Nathan has surged back among the league leaders in saves. He was needed for 1.1 innings tonight but still only used 13 pitches. A great save for him.
  • Andrew Bailey (7): Bailey also was called on for 1.1 innings and gave up a hit and walk. Other than that, is was a easy save.
  • Kevin Gregg: Got his second win in as many days.
  • Matt Capps: Got some work tonight. He gave up a run on one hit.