Joe Kelly gets first post-Hendriks save chance; Josh Hader is back

June 21, 2022

New York Mets – A day after one of Seth Lugo’s worst outings of the season, Drew Smith was tasked with the 8th of a four-run game, pitching a scoreless inning. Lugo has been serviceable this season (3.81 ERA), but he isn’t the lockdown reliever he was a few years ago, while Smith (2.03 ERA, 0.97 WHIP) has been a revelation. These two will probably continue to be used interchangeably, but Smith has inched ahead in terms of who is more likely to get a 9th inning should Edwin Diaz need a night off.

Updated hierarchy: Diaz | Smith | Lugo.

Chicago White Sox – After Kendall Graveman was brought in to face the 3-4-5 hitters in the 8th inning, Joe Kelly came on for the 9th. He made it interesting, allowing a two-run homer to Cavan Biggio, but then settled down to record the final two outs, netting his first save. It’s probable this was a matchup play — Graveman is clearly the best arm in this pen right now — but we’ll slap a committee tag on here in case they use him in his traditional fireman role rather than as an exclusive closer.

Updated hierarchy: *Graveman | Kelly | Ruiz.
* = closer-by-committee

Milwaukee Brewers – Josh Hader looked fine after what was presumably several days of minimal sleep, returning from the paternity list to log a scoreless 9th inning.

Updated hierarchy: Hader | Williams | Boxberger.


1. Will Smith – Kenley Jansen has gone back to back.
2. Matt Strahm/Hansel Robles – Tanner Houck and John Schreiber have both gone back to back.

1. Jake McGee – If Camilo Doval goes today, it’s back to back and four of five.
2. Josh Staumont – If Scott Barlow goes today, it’s back to back and three of four.
3. Michael King – If Clay Holmes (RIP scoreless streak; great run, Clay) goes today, it’s back to back and three of four.