July 28, 2020
Buffalo Blue Jays – Yesterday, we lined up the Blue Jays committee with Anthony Bass at the top, followed by Rafael Dolis and then Jordan Romano, and last night, that’s exactly how Toronto played it. Romano got the last two outs of the 7th, then gave way to Dolis, who pitched a scoreless 8th. On came Bass for the save chance, and he converted the chance; we figure the Jays will keep doing it this way until Bass gives them a reason not to.
Hierarchy remains: *Bass | Dolis | Romano.
* = closer-by-committee
Oakland A’s – Liam Hendriks did get the day off on Monday, but the A’s kept Jake Diekman in his usual 8th inning role, instead giving the 9th to Joakim Soria. The righty converted for his first save of the year, so we’ll monitor this situation to see if this is how Oakland intends to play things when Hendriks is off.
Hierarchy remains: Hendriks | Diekman | Soria.
New York Mets – The Mets took a five-run lead into the 8th inning, but after Jeurys Familia got in a jam, Seth Lugo came on to clean up the mess. Lugo, who thus far has looked every bit as sharp as last year (3.1 scoreless innings, 1 hit, 4 Ks, 0 BBs), escaped the inning and then retired the side in order in the 9th for his first save of the season. Edwin Diaz, already sitting on a blown save, will have competition if Lugo keeps this up.
Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Lugo | Betances.
Chicago Cubs – Craig Kimbrel picked up where he left off in 2019, entering the game with a 3-run lead and exiting it with 2 runs in, the bases loaded, and only 1 out recorded. Fortunately, Jeremy Jeffress was up to the task, striking out the first hitter he faced and then inducing a game-ending flyout. Sick hold, Craig.
Updated hierarchy: Kimbrel | Jeffress | Wick.
Milwaukee Brewers – The single most impressive relief outing of the season thus far was turned in by David Phelps on Monday night. The veteran pitched the top of the 10th and 11th innings for the Brewers — meaning that he had to deal with a runner on 2nd at the start of each inning — and allowed no damage whatsoever, striking out 3 hitters and not allowing anyone to reach base other than the aforementioned starting runners. With the ostensible set-up men for the Brewers having both appeared in the 4th inning of games earlier this year, this outing is enough to move Phelps to the hierarchy.
Updated hierarchy: Hader | Knebel | Phelps.
VULTURE SAVE WATCH
1. Rowan Wick – Craig Kimbrel threw 34 pitches in a horrendous effort last night and might get the day off.
2. Shun Yamaguchi – The three top relievers in the Blue Jays committee might all get the day off today, having gone back to back and three of four. So we’ll take a stab that Yamaguchi gets the save opp today, if there is one.
1. Ryan Pressly/Chris Devenski – If Roberto Osuna goes today, it’ll be back to back and three of four; Ryan Pressly is also day to day with a nagging injury.