Jensen Lewis is living the dream.
What if he blows one? Can he rebound?
I'm not about to worry about that, nor is Jensen Lewis.
When has a Cleveland Indian fan ever seen a ninth inning so painless and quick and actually be on the right side of it?
Armed with a 92 MPH, or 94 MPH on a more adrenaline-pumped night, fastball and a Vanderbilt education, Jensen Lewis is the closer the Cleveland Indians have been waiting for.
His quick-snap delivery and precise sideburns are blowing hitters away in the ninth inning, 100 MPH fastball be damned. The Indians don't need Joel Zumaya; they need Jensen Lewis.
There are only so many J.J. Putz's of the world, guys who can come in with that mindset to sit the opposition down and do it with a lot of heat.
Jensen Lewis doesn't need the heat, nor should he worry about it. It isn't a Joe Borowski change-up-speed fastball, it's a fastball. A fastball that is good enough to get it done.
Is it any coincidence that Jensen is having success in the late months of the year with a lot of pressure riding on him?
Earlier this year, he struggled for the most part and had a dip in velocity.
Think about where this kid came from last year, and how he had most of his success.
He was thrown into the heat of a playoff race and he excelled at it. He didn't think, he just did, and he fed off the energy of the crowd, the atmosphere, and the situation.
Have you ever heard people say that a certain player or person has "it"?
Well, whatever "it" is, Jensen Lewis has it, and there is no need for the Indians to look much further.
Jensen Lewis is the closer of the present and future. You can say what you want about the pressure being off because it isn't a playoff race, and I promptly will tell you, it doesn't matter.
Some say that Tom Mastny did this a few years ago, after Fausto Carmona imploded on his several attempts.
Tom Mastny didn't have "it," and he never will.
It didn’t take a genius to watch what Mastny did and what Jensen Lewis is doing and figure it out. Lewis was born to shut the door for a major-league team.
He was born to close out games for his favorite childhood sports team.
Jensen Lewis is right where he should be and it shouldn't be touched.
So, to reiterate, when will he blow one and how will he handle it?
Once again, does it really matter?
That's the type of attitude Jensen Lewis carries with him. He isn't thinking about the next out, he's thinking about the current one. Out by out, pitch by pitch. Go in with your best, come out with the effort.
If you need any sort of proof that Lewis has a short memory, go back to last week against Texas in a three-run game that the Rangers had been battling back in.
Lewis surrenders a home run to center field, a ball that just cleared in a hitter’s park. With Michael Young singling to get on with one out, Jensen Lewis was staring down one of the best hitters in the game, Josh Hamilton.
With the game on the line, Jensen blew Hamilton away and got him on a called strike three. Another out there, and the game was over.
It was the situation the Indians have seen time and time again, a few times this year in fact. Here we go again, another blown game in the ninth inning in dramatic fashion. Let’s watch the other team celebrate at home plate.
Strangely, the ending wasn't the same for once. It was Jensen Lewis shaking Grady Sizemore’s hand and getting congratulated by his teammates.
How many people can feel comfortable in that situation?
How many people named Jensen Lewis can feel comfortable in that situation?
The answer is simple: one.
You either do it or you don't, but as far as he is concerned, no one is going to beat him, and he’s displayed that attitude since getting the role.
Keep your Brian Fuentes and Brandon Lyons. Don't worry about giving up a prospect for Huston Street. You don't have to look any further than Jensen Lewis to find the answer to your 2009 closer question.
Who will be closing it out in 2009 for the Cleveland Indians?
I think you know the answer.
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