The Fenway Phenom Papelbon has dropped his ERA to a very pretty 0.39. In 23 innings he’s allowed 11 hits and struck out 21. 3 walks and 1 run are the only evidence that he’s human. Boston has watched their young closer finish off more than half of their wins but according to the laws of baseball he’s going to jog in from the bullpen someday this season and exit with an introduction to the blown save column. It’s what all closers go through unless they’re a freak of nature like Gagne and even he’s done it on occasion. Rivera had a 30 something streak snapped last year and Brian Fuentes of the Rockies had a 20+ streak going into this season snapped at the end of April. But a few blown saves won’t scar dominant pitching and Papelbon has the pure intensity to spearhead his way to a 40 save rookie year. While I think the only way to evaluate a closing pitcher is by their consistency over several seasons, Papelbon looks more than promising as a knock out closer in years to come and he’s a keeper.
Another closer in the AL East nailing the door shut is B.J. "Blue Jay" Ryan. He’s in his 9th career season but only his 2nd as a fulltime closer. It’s easy to overlook him but so far he’s converted 11 saves in as many opportunities for Toronto and touts an ERA of 0.42. Pretty darn good and will play an equalizing role if Toronto threatens Boston and NY for first place.
Other closers getting the job done tonight were Todd Jones for his 14th, Cordero for his 6th, Frankie Rodriguez for his 11th, Hoffman for his 8th and Isringhausen for his 15th.
I recently finished reading The Last Night of the Yankee Dynasty by Buster Olney. It narrates Game 7 of the 2001 World Series and relates it to an analytical behind the scenes look at the Yankee organization. Though resurfacing those Game 7 memories made me teary eyed, it was a great read and I highly recommend it.
Alright. Leave comments please if you’re reading. You can leave a blank comment if you wish or just a brief, "Hey, you spelled ‘Pierzynski’ wrong" type thing. Just want to know how many hits I get a day.
The Mariano Career Saves Counter: 388