Monkey Bytes, April 28: Helsley records his ninth save, Muńoz fires a clean ninth for his fourth, Game Recaps, Injury Notes, and more

Saturday’s full slate featured three extra-inning contests, a career-first save, and a walk-off win for the White Sox. For those who asked, here’s a CliffsNotes version of yesterday’s high-leverage events, followed by the game recaps.

Saturday’s High-Leverage CliffsNotes


  • Ryan Helsley, St. Louis Cardinals (9)
  • Jason Foley, Detroit Tigers (8)
  • Evan Phillips, Los Angeles Dodgers (8)
  • Alexis Díaz, Cincinnati Reds (6)
  • David Bednar, Pittsburgh Pirates (5)
  • Andrés Muñoz, Seattle Mariners (4)
  • Nick Sandlin, Cleveland Guardians (1)

Blown Saves

  • Chris Stratton, Kansas City Royals (1)
  • Dominic Leone, Chicago White Sox (1)
  • Phil Maton, Tampa Bay Rays (2)
  • Hunter Gaddis, Cleveland Guardians (1)

Rehab Update

Minnesota Twins – Making his second rehab appearance, Jhoan Durán hit 102.9 m.p.h. and fired a clean inning, recording two strikeouts. This should be wheels up for his activation soon.

American League – Game Recaps from April 27

Chicago White Sox – Benefiting from a walk-off rally in the bottom of the tenth, Deivi García collected his first win. He let the “place” runner score in the top of the inning and issued two walks (one intentional) while striking out two. Michael Kopech tossed a scoreless ninth, walking one and striking out one, keeping the game tied. He threw 14 pitches (8 strikes – 57.1 Strike%) and induced two whiffs (14.3 SwStr%). Steven Wilson navigated around a hit and a walk for a scoreless eighth. John Brebbia retired the side in the seventh.

Adjusted hierarchy: *Michael Kopech | *Steven Wilson | John Brebbia

*= closer-by-committee

Cleveland GuardiansHanded a two-run lead in the bottom of the 11th, Nick Sandlin recorded his first major-league save, during his 155th appearance, stranding the “place” runner and retiring the top of Atlanta’s lineup in order on 11 pitches. Scott Barlow collected his second win, navigating around a hit and a walk while striking out one in a scoreless tenth. Emmanuel Clase fired a clean ninth, throwing 13 pitches (6 strikes – 46.2 Strike%) and inducing two whiffs (15.4 SwStr%). He’s riding a six-game scoreless streak, converting all four save chances over his last six innings. Hunter Gaddis suffered his first blown save, allowing four hits and two earned runs in the eighth, his first runs allowed all season.

Hierarchy remains: Emmanuel Clase | Hunter Gaddis | Scott Barlow

Detroit Tigers – Surviving a traffic-infused outing, Jason Foley recorded his eighth save. However, he allowed a lead-off single by Michael Massey, followed by an infield single, and a fielder’s choice groundout put runners at second and third. Another fielder’s choice groundout scored a run, then Bobby Witt Jr. produced an RBI single before a game-ending flyout to center. Foley allowed three hits and two earned runs, throwing 14 pitches (71.4 Strike%) with one whiff. Andrew Chafin retired the side in the eighth for his third hold. Alex Faedo collected his second win, tossing two clean frames.

Hierarchy remains: Jason Foley | Alex Lange | Andrew Chafin

Seattle Mariners – Locking down his fourth save, Andrés Muñoz fired a clean ninth, striking out one against Arizona’s 3-4-5 hitters. He threw 11 pitches (72.7 Strike%) and racked up three whiffs (27.3 SwStr%), including two with his slider on six pitches (33.3 SwStr%). He owns a modest three-game scoreless streak but has been scoreless in seven of his last eight posting eight strikeouts against two walks with a 1.04 WHIP over 7.2 innings. Ryne Stanek was credited with his fifth hold despite allowing a hit, an earned run, and a walk while striking out one in the eighth, spoiling the shutout.

This outing becomes more important with news Matt Brash will be shut down from throwing indefinitely and will be meeting with Dr. Keith Meister later this week, per Ryan Divish of The Seattle Times

Hierarchy remains: *Andrés Muñoz | *Ryne Stanek | Gabe Speier

*= closer-by-committee

Tampa Bay Rays – Suffering his second loss, and second blown save, Phil Maton served up a walk-off, two-run home run by Andrew Benintendi in the bottom of the 11th, putting a hit and two runs (one earned) on his ledger over one-third of an inning. Jason Adam tossed a scoreless ninth, walking one and striking out one on 13 pitches (8 strikes – 61.5 Strike%) with two whiffs (15.4 SwStr%). Kevin Kelly logged two clean frames, striking out three. Garrett Cleavinger retired his only batter faced via strikeout, stranding a runner in the sixth. Shawn Armstrong worked 1.1 scoreless, giving up a hit and a walk with two strikeouts, but let both inherited runners score in the fifth.

Adjusted hierarchy: *Jason Adam | *Garrett Cleavinger | Phil Maton

*= closer-by-committee

National League – Game Recaps from April 27

Cincinnati Reds – Pressed into action, Alexis Díaz stranded two runners while retiring his only two batters faced on a pop-out and a groundout, preserving a four-run win for his sixth save. He threw an efficient seven pitches (71.4 Strike%) without a whiff. After a slow start, he’s turned in seven consecutive scoreless outings, with six strikeouts versus three walks over seven innings while converting all five save chances. Brent Suter had a rough outing, allowing six hits, including two home runs, four earned runs, and striking out two during his 1.1 innings of relief.

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Fernando Cruz (HLR) / Lucas Sims

Los Angeles Dodgers – Although he allowed an unearned run, Evan Phillips secured his eighth save. He recorded two quick strikeouts, and then Davis Schneider reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and scored on a single by Cavan Biggio. Phillips threw 25 pitches (68 Strike%) and produced four whiffs (16 SwStr%). He owns a 1.11 WHIP with 15 strikeouts versus four walks over 11.2 innings. Ryan Brasier fired a clean eighth, striking out two for his fourth hold. Joe Kelly took over in the seventh, stranding a runner while retiring his three batters faced, two via strikeout, notching his fifth hold.

Hierarchy remains: Evan Phillips | Daniel Hudson | Joe Kelly

Pittsburgh Pirates – It did not come easy, but David Bednar recorded his fifth save during an adventurous bottom of the tenth in San Francisco. He was greeted by a Jorge Soler two-run home run, scoring the “place” runner, cutting the lead to one, but settled in with a strikeout, allowed a single, and recorded consecutive strikeouts, preserving the win. He threw 19 pitches (15 strikes – 78.9 Strike%) producing five whiffs (26.3 SwStr%), making one mistake while allowing two hits, and two runs (one earned) with three strikeouts. He’s allowed runs in consecutive outings, and in five of 10 games this month, but converted five of seven save opportunities, though the 1.88 WHIP over eight innings concerns fantasy players. Hunter Stratton collected his first win, retiring both batters in the ninth, one via strikeout. Josh Fleming worked 1.1 scoreless frames, keeping the contest tied. Colin Holderman tossed a scoreless seventh, yielding a hit.

Hierarchy remains: David Bednar | Aroldis Chapman | Colin Holderman

San Francisco Giants – Suffering his first loss, Taylor Rogers gave up two hits in the top of the tenth, both home runs (Bryan Reynolds and Ke’Bryan Hayes), resulting in three runs (two earned), and recorded two strikeouts. Camilo Doval tossed a scoreless ninth, keeping the game tied. He allowed a two-out single by Rowdy Tellez and struck out one, throwing 17 pitches (11 strikes – 64.7 Strike%) with three whiffs (17.6 SwStr%), facing the 6-7-8 lineup pocket. Tyler Rogers held on for a scoreless eighth, giving up two hits and striking out one.

Updated hierarchy: Camilo Doval | Tyler Rogers | Ryan Walker

St. Louis Cardinals – Hanging on for his ninth save, Ryan Helsley navigated around consecutive one-out singles, and a two-out walk for a scoreless ninth, inducing a game-ending flyout by Francisco Lindor. He threw 24 pitches (75 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (12.5 SwStr%). He’s converted six straight save opportunities, allowing an unearned run while striking out 12 against one walk with a 0.67 WHIP over his last nine innings. Andrew Kittredge notched his tenth hold, giving up a hit and striking out one during a scoreless eighth. JoJo Romero fired a clean seventh, striking out two for his tenth hold.

Hierarchy remains: Ryan Helsley | Andrew Kittredge | JoJo Romero

Quick Hits from April 27

Arizona Diamondbacks – Appearing during a loss, Kevin Ginkel issued a walk and recorded a strikeout during two-thirds scoreless in the top of the ninth. He threw 14 pitches (50 Strike%) without a whiff.

Also, Mike Hazen announced Paul Sewald will slow down his rehab process, per Steve Gilbert in this tweet on “X”. 

Hierarchy remains: Kevin Ginkel | Ryan Thompson | Kyle Nelson

Atlanta Braves – Raisel Iglesias tossed a scoreless ninth, issuing a one-out walk and getting an inning-ending groundout double play. He also recorded a strikeout, throwing 11 pitches (63.6 Strike%) while producing three whiffs (27.3 SwStr%). Dylan Lee was tagged with his first loss, working a scoreless tenth, but giving up a hit, two runs (one earned), and two walks while striking out two over his two innings of relief.

Hierarchy remains: Raisel Iglesias | A.J. Minter | Joe Jiménez

Boston Red Sox Courtesy of the scorer’s decision, Justin Slaten collected his second win, firing two clean frames and striking out two across the fifth and sixth innings. He threw 25 pitches (64 Strike%) and generated four whiffs (16 SwStr%). He owns a 0.49 WHIP with 13 strikeouts against two walks through his first 16.1 innings.

Hierarchy remains: Kenley Jansen | Chris Martin | Justin Slaten

Kansas City Royals – Entering in the sixth, Angel Zerpa secured his third hold, retiring the side. Chris Stratton turned in a rough outing, suffering his second loss and first blown save, giving up four hits, five earned runs, and a walk while striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: James McArthur | John Schreiber | Chris Stratton

Philadelphia Phillies – Closing out a four-run win, Jeff Hoffman fired a clean bottom of the ninth, striking out the side against the Padres’ 9-1-2 batters. He threw 15 pitches (80 Strike%) and generated six whiffs (40 SwStr%). He last recorded a save on April 10 but has produced seven scoreless outings from this outing forward with 10 strikeouts versus two walks and a 0.86 WHIP since.

Hierarchy remains: *José Alvarado | *Jeff Hoffman | Orion Kerkering

Toronto Blue Jays – Appearing with his team down by three against the Dodgers 9-1-2 pocket, Jordan Romano allowed a one-out single and issued Freddie Freeman a walk with two outs before his removal. Romano threw 19 pitches (8 strikes – 42.1 Strike%), displaying some rust since his last outing on April 22. Nate Pearson induced an inning-ending groundout by Will Smith, stranding both runners. Yimi García retired all four batters faced on 15 pitches (66.7 Strike%) and produced one whiff. He’s retired 27 of 28 batters faced with 11 strikeouts over his last eight games, spanning nine innings.

Hierarchy remains: Jordan Romano | Yimi García (HLR) | Erik Swanson

Vulture Saves for April 28

CWS: Kopech has pitched on consecutive days, which puts Steven Wilson in line for a save chance.

LAD: Phillips has appeared in two of the last three, along with throwing 39 pitches in them, which may require a day off and makes Daniel Hudson an intriguing play today.

PIT: Bednar’s worked on consecutive days, so Colin Holderman may receive the save chance on Sunday.

SFG: Both Doval and Tyler Rogers have pitched on consecutive days, which may provide Ryan Walker with a save chance this afternoon.

STL: After using its triumvirate over the last two days (Helsley; Kittredge; Romero), Giovanny Gallegos should be in line for the save chance on Sunday.

Closer Monkey’s filthy outing of the day goes to Jeff Hoffman, striking out the side in a non-save appearance against the Padres, courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

Thanks for being a part of the Closer Monkey community. For those playing in leagues with holds or SOLDS, a streaming guide for Week 6 was posted yesterday.

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