September 20, 2017
Los Angeles Dodgers — Pedro Baez continued his dreadful September on Tuesday, allowing four runs on two hits and two walks to blow a one-run lead. His ERA this month is a miserable 22.50, and not only has he pitched himself out of the hierarchy, he probably pitched himself off the playoff roster. Tony Watson and Ross Stripling are the most likely options now in the seventh as the Dodgers get ready for October.
Updated hierarchy: Jansen | Morrow | Watson.
Boston Red Sox – While we did correctly predict a vulture save for the Red Sox, it was not Joe Kelly who got it. Instead, Matt Barnes closed out the 11th inning after Kelly, Addison Reed and Craig Kimbrel all pitched. Also of note is that Carson Smith got the ball in the seventh inning of a scoreless game, less than 24 hours after picking up an 11th-inning save of his own. While it’s still unlikely that he picks up a conventional save this year, Tuesday’s usage suggests the Sox are loosening the reins on Smith and that he may be in line for a hold or two down the stretch.
Hierarchy remains: Kimbrel | Reed | Kelly.
Cleveland Indians — Andrew Miller has pitched three times since returning from the DL, picking up two holds in the process. One of those holds came thanks to a 1-2-3 seventh inning on Tuesday. Cleveland still may be cautious with Miller’s workload ahead of the postseason, but it appears that Miller is not suffering from any setbacks.
Updated hierarchy: Allen | Shaw | Miller.
St. Louis Cardinals — Juan Nicasio kept the score tied in the ninth and then got the ball in the 10th with the Cardinals now ahead by two runs. After allowing a leadoff homer, Nicasio retired the next hitter before ceding the inning to Tyler Lyons in order to take advantage of a lefty-lefty matchup and eventually convert his third save of the season.
Hierarchy remains: *Nicasio | Lyons | Oh.
* = closer-by-committee
New York Yankees — Since Aroldis Chapman regained his job as closer, he has pitched six scoreless innings over five appearances, allowing just two hits during that stretch. Safe to say he’s kicked the asterisk.
Hierarchy remains: Chapman | Betances | Robertson.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Pedro Strop – Both Wade Davis and CJ Edwards have pitched in four of the last five.
2. Joe Kelly – Craig Kimbrel and Addison Reed have both pitched in two straight and five of six. Kelly has also pitched in two straight, but is a bit more rested overall than Kimbrel and Reed.
3. Jeurys Familia – AJ Ramos needed 32 pitches during his blown save last night, his third outing over the last four days.
4. Dellin Betances – Aroldis Chapman has gone in back-to-back games and may get a night off.
5. Santiago Casilla/Ryan Dull – Blake Treinen and Chris Hatcher have both pitched in three straight games. It’s only been two straight for Casilla, but he has pitched in three of four and isn’t exactly rested. Ryan Dull may pick up a sneaky vulture save tonight.
1. CJ Edwards/Pedro Strop – If both Edwards and Davis pitch again on Wednesday, Strop could see Thursday’s save chance.
2. Anthony Swarzak/Josh Hader – Both Corey Knebel and Swarzak have pitched in two straight. If they both go again Wednesday, Hader may get a look on Thursday.
3. Luis Garcia/Edubray Ramos – Both Hector Neris and Ramos enter Wednesday having pitched in two straight and three of four. If both pitchers get the ball tonight, Ramos may get a save chance on Thursday.