The best and worst closers in baseball
Ninth inning, game on the line, the other team’s top hitters coming to the plate. Which bullpen would you trust to hold the lead?
TEAM (Primary closer); THE PITCH
1. PHILADELPHIA (Ryan Madson): MLB-low 2 blown saves despite 2 injured closers
2. SAN DIEGO (Heath Bell) Bullpen 2.64 ERA best in majors
3. DETROIT (Jose Valverde) Converting AL-best 78% of save chances
4. TAMPA BAY (Kyle Farnsworth) Farnsworth’s 0.79 WHIP best among regular closers
5. CLEVELAND (Chris Perez) Perez’s only blown save was 2 months ago
6. SAN FRANCISCO (Brian Wilson). 17 bullpen wins leads MLB
7. YANKEES (Mariano Rivera): Enter Sandman – with 1.71 ERA, 1.03 WHIP.
8. PITTSBURGH (Joel Hanrahan) Hanrahan allowed 2 runs in 19 saves chances
9. ARIZONA (J. Putz): After going 16-for-16, Putz has blown 3 of 5 save chances
10. COLORADO (Huston Street) Street 19 for 21, rest of bullpen 2 of 9 in save chances
11. SEATTLE (Brandon League) League has allowed 5 hits, no runs since May 13
12. BOSTON (Jonathan Papelbon): Despite career-high 4.18 ERA, Pap has 1 blown save
13. METS (Francisco Rodriguez): Blew MLB-record 6 straight 7th-inning leads at home
14. ST. LOUIS (Fernando Salas): Blew 7 saves in 1st month, just five since
15. CHI. SOX (Sergio Santos): Have tried five closers this season
16. KANSAS CITY (Joakim Soria): Bullpen leads AL with 14 wins but has blown 9 of 21 save chances
17. CINCINNATI (Francisco Codero): Reds bullpen has walked an MLB high 118
18. OAKLAND: (Brian Fuentes) Fuentes an MLB bullpen-worst 1-7
19. ATLANTA (Craig Kimbrel): Kimbrel tied for MLB lead with 5 blown saves.
20. DODGERS (committee) 20 save opportunities fewest in NL; bullpen ERA 4.72
21. TEXAS (Neftali Feliz) Bullpen has 15 losses, third-worst ERA in AL
22. MILWAUKEE (John Axford): 15 bullpen losses tied for MLB lead
23. FLORIDA (Leo Nunez) Nunez’s has 19 saves; pen has MLB-high 15 losses
24. ANGELS (Jordan Walden): 11 blown saves most in AL
25. TORONTO (Rauch/Francisco): Twin closers have 4.79 ERA combined
26. WASHINGTON (Drew Storen): Nats have blown 13 of 33 save chances
27. BALTIMORE (Kevin Gregg): Save percentage of 59% third-worst in AL
28. CUBS (Carlos Marmol): Only Houston has a worse save percentage in NL
29. MINNESOTA (Matt Capps): Opponents hitting .271 against Twins pen
30. HOUSTON (Brandon Lyon): Bullpen has 14 losses, 14 blown saves
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