Even the Mightiest Of Closers Eventually Fall

Ian HunterCorrespondent IOctober 13, 2009

It took less than one week and already the first round of the MLB playoffs are in the books. It was not without controversy—what with the botched calls—but, for me, the storyline that prevailed through most of the series was the fall of many of the teams' closers.

Jonathan Papelbon, Joe Nathan, Huston Street, and Ryan Franklin were all victims of blown saves in what was otherwise a sparkling year for each of these closers. During the regular season, they saved a combined 168 out of 187 games, which is a 90 percent success rate.

Unfortunately, when it comes to the playoffs, that 10 percent can be the difference between making it to the next round and watching the rest of the playoffs at home with a bag of Scream Cheese Doritos.

The amount of pressure on these pitchers is enormous as their margin of error is very slim, especially in October. That's one of the reasons I enjoy the MLB postseason so much—because no matter how many games you win during the regular season or how many times your closer shuts the door and gets the save, all that matters is winning those 11 games to get you that World Series ring.

For Papelbon, Nathan, Street, and Franklin, they will get their chance once again and most of them will probably won't have to wait long to redeem themselves in the playoffs. Not that they did it on purpose, but they picked the most inopportune times to fail the seal the deal for their teams.