Monkey Bytes, May 12: Kimbrel records his fourth win, Jansen secures his sixth save, Game Recaps, and more

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An extra-inning contest forced manager Brandon Hyde’s hand in the top of the 11th. He brought in Craig Kimbrel into a high-leverage situation, and the veteran closer responded, tossing a scoreless frame and stranding the “place” runner against the heart of Arizona’s lineup. A walk-off single provided him with his fourth win. Kenley Jansen moved back in front of Kimbrel in the career saves race, securing his sixth of the season, and 426th of his career.

There were only five saves during Saturday’s full 15-game slate, including the first by John Brebbia this season, and since 2018. Our condensed and full recaps cover all the high-leverage events of interest.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | BAL): Thrust into a high-leverage event, Craig Kimbrel took over in the top of the 11th, against the heart of the Diamondbacks’ lineup, and Corbin Carroll as the “place” runner. He turned in a scoreless outing, hitting a batter and striking out one, then collected his fourth win via a walk-off in the bottom of the frame. 

(RP | BOS): Securing his sixth save, Kenley Jansen fired a clean top of the ninth, striking out two while preserving a two-run win over Washington. 

(RP | CWS): Facing the heart of the Guardians’ lineup, Pedro Grifol turned to John Brebbia, and the veteran reliever responded by recording his first save of the season after retiring the side in order, and striking out one, closing out a 3-1 win. 

(RP | TBR): Returning from the injured list, Pete Fairbanks fired a clean top of the ninth, finishing a five-run win over the Yankees. It’s his first major league outing since April 17 and he threw 11 pitches (63.6 Strike%) without getting a whiff.

Adjusted Hierarchy: Pete Fairbanks | Jason Adam | Garrett Cleavinger

(RP | TEX): Taking over with a runner on, and one out, David Robertson struggled with the conditions and his command. He allowed two hits, four earned runs, a hit batter, and a walk without recording an out in the seventh. He was tagged with his first loss and his third blown save as a result. 

Hierarchy remains: Kirby Yates | David Robertson | José Leclerc

(RP | TOR): Putting the bow on a comeback win, Jordan Romano recorded his sixth save, allowing a hit and striking out two during a scoreless top of the ninth against the Twins. 

National League

(RP | ARI): Tasked with an extended outing in extra-innings, Bryce Jarvis worked a scoreless bottom of the tenth, but suffered his second loss allowing a walk-off hit by Jordan Westburg in the 11th. 

(RP | ATL): During a non-save outing, Raisel Iglesias allowed two hits, including a solo home run, and a walk while finishing a win over the Mets. 

(RP | CHC): Entering in the fifth after a prolonged rain delay, Keegan Thompson suffered his first loss, allowing two hits, including a three-run home run by Yasmani Grandal, and issued two walks while striking out two.

Hierarchy remains: Héctor Neris | Mark Leiter Jr. | Yency Almonte

(RP | COL): Benefiting from a six-run outburst by his teammates in the bottom of the seventh, Tyler Kinley collected his second win, firing 1.1 clean frames and striking out one against Texas. 

Updated Hierarchy: *Justin Lawrence | *Jake Bird | *Jalen Beeks

*= closer-by-committee

(RP | MIL): After recording two quick outs, Trevor Megill allowed two hits, but retired Nolan Arenado on a game-ending flyout, securing his fourth save. 

(RP | PIT): Another sullied save for the “Renegade“. David Bednar allowed two hits and an earned run, but held on for his seventh save, closing out a one-run win over the Cubs. 

(RP | SFG): With two runners on and one out, Taylor Rogers took over in the top of the fifth and retired both via strikeout. As a result, he was awarded his first win of the season. 

Hierarchy remains: Camilo Doval | Tyler Rogers | Ryan Walker

(RP | STL): With his team ahead by one upon his entrance, Andrew Kittredge suffered his second loss, and his second blown save, giving up two hits, including a go-ahead three-run home run by Rhys Hoskins, and walked one during his two-thirds of the seventh. He’s given up at least a run in consecutive contests.

Hierarchy remains: Ryan Helsley | Andrew Kittredge | JoJo Romero

(RP | WSH): Suffering his second loss, Robert Garcia allowed two hits, including a go-ahead two-RBI double by Rafael Devers in the bottom of the eighth. He also walked one and struck out one in this outing.

Hierarchy remains: Kyle Finnegan | Hunter Harvey | Dylan Floro

Game Recaps – American League

Baltimore Orioles – Entering in the top of the 11th, Craig Kimbrel navigated around the 3-4-5 Arizona lineup pocket, and Corbin Carroll represented as the “place” runner, hitting a batter (Christian Walker) but recording a scoreless outing, resulting in his fourth win courtesy of a walk-off. He threw 11 pitches (63.6 Strike%) and induced one whiff with one strikeout. Danny Coulombe worked a scoreless tenth, striking out one. Yennier Cano turned in a scoreless ninth, walking one. He’s been scoreless over his last eight appearances.

Updated Hierarchy: *Craig Kimbrel | *Yennier Cano | *Danny Coulombe

Boston Red Sox Shutting the door on his sixth save, and first since April 20, Kenley Jansen fired a clean ninth and recorded two strikeouts versus the Nationals. He threw 16 pitches (75 Strike%) and produced one whiff. He’s been scoreless in five of six outings with a 0.67 WHIP and 10 strikeouts versus one walk through six innings. Chris Martin collected his second win, retiring the side in the eighth ahead of his team’s rally in the bottom of the frame. Justin Slaten issued a walk and recorded two outs in the seventh.

Hierarchy remains: Kenley Jansen | Chris Martin | Justin Slaten

Chicago White Sox – Securing his first save of the season, and first since 2018, John Brebbia fired a clean top of the ninth against the Guardians’ 3-4-5 hitters. He threw 14 pitches (71.4 Strike%) and induced one whiff while recording a strikeout in his outing. Jared Shuster worked two scoreless frames, walking one and striking out two for his first hold. Tim Hill collected his first win, tossing 1.1 clean innings and striking out one. He also stranded a runner in the top of the fifth.

Hierarchy remains: Michael Kopech | John Brebbia | Jordan Leasure

Toronto Blue Jays – Capping a comeback, Jordan Romano secured his sixth save, working around a two-out double by Max Kepler with a game-ending pop-out. He threw 16 pitches (62.5 Strike%) and induced three whiffs (18.8 SwStr%) while striking out two. He owns a 1.38 WHIP with eight strikeouts through 8.2 innings. Yimi García made his first appearance since April 28, firing a clean eighth and striking out one for his fifth hold. Erik Swanson retired the side in the seventh, striking out one resulting in his first win. This represents his first clean outing inning of the season. Trevor Richards logged two clean frames, striking out two, keeping his team in the contest.

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

Game Recaps – National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – After taking over in the bottom of the tenth, Bryce Jarvis suffered his second loss, allowing a walk-off RBI single in the bottom of the 11th, scoring the “place runner”. He finished with an inning pitched, one hit allowed, an unearned run, and two walks (one intentional) while striking out one. Paul Sewald turned in a scoreless ninth, giving up a hit and intentionally walking Gunnar Henderson while striking out one. He threw 26 pitches (18 strikes – 69.2 Strike%) and induced two whiffs. Kevin Ginkel was tagged with his third blown save, serving up a game-tying solo home run by Anthony Santander in the eighth. Joe Mantiply retired the side in the seventh for his second hold. Ryan Thompson tossed 1.1 clean frames, striking out one and stranded a runner in the fifth.

Hierarchy remains: Paul Sewald | Kevin Ginkel | Ryan Thompson

Atlanta Braves – Not only did Raisel Iglesias spoil the combined no-hit bid, but he allowed a solo home run by J.D. Martinez, removing the chance at a shutout as well, during his non-save outing against the Mets. He threw 25 pitches (60 Strike%) and induced one whiff, giving up two hits, an earned run, and a walk while striking out one. He’s allowed a run in consecutive games and three of his last four. Joe Jiménez notched his ninth hold, walking two and striking out two in a scoreless eighth.

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

Milwaukee Brewers – Handed a two-run lead, Trevor Megill recorded two quick outs, then allowed an infield single, and an opposite-field single by Paul Goldschmidt before inducing a game-ending flyout by Nolan Arenado for his fourth save. He was not sharp throwing 19 pitches (12 strikes – 63.2 Strike%) without getting a whiff. He’s in the midst of a six-game scoreless streak with four strikeouts and a 0.50 WHIP over six innings. Bryan Hudson notched his fourth hold, yielding a hit and striking out two in a scoreless eighth. Hoby Milner collected his first win, giving up a hit and striking out one during a scoreless seventh.

Hierarchy remains: Trevor Megill | Joel Payamps | Elvis Peguero

Pittsburgh Pirates – Hanging on for his seventh save, David Bednar allowed a lead-off double, followed by a single, and a sacrifice fly, cutting the lead to one, but bore down and retired the last two batters. He threw 16 pitches (62.5 Strike%) and produced one whiff. His final line was two hits allowed and one earned run. He’s given up a run in four of his last six games but converted all three save chances. Hunter Stratton notched his second hold, firing a clean eighth and striking out one. Aroldis Chapman turned in a scoreless seventh, yielding a hit and a walk while striking out two for his eighth hold. Colin Holderman collected his first win, logging 1.1 scoreless innings, but issued three walks and let two of three inherited runners score in the fateful fifth inning:

Hierarchy remains: David Bednar | Aroldis Chapman | Colin Holderman

Vulture Save Options for Sunday, May 12

ATL: Iglesias has pitched in two straight games, which usually means a save chance for A.J. Minter if provided later today.

ARI: Sewald has not pitched on consecutive days, and he may if needed today. If the team does not use him, it’s a thin leverage ladder based on usage patterns. It could be one of the younger arms, either Joe Mantiply or Justin Martinez.

BAL: Also short in the bullpen, Kimbrel and Cano have pitched in two straight, placing Danny Coulombe or Jacob Webb on our radars based on how the lineup pockets proceed in the late innings for the save chance today.

BOS: Jansen has appeared on consecutive days, putting Chris Martin on the vulture save list for today’s action.

Vulture Save Options on Monday, May 13

HOU: If Hader pitches today, Ryan Pressly will be in line for the save on Monday.

MIL: Megill pitched on Saturday, and if he does again today, Joel Payamps will be in play for Monday’s save chance.

TBR: Back from the injured list, if Fairbanks pitches this afternoon, it should be Jason Adam for the vulture save on Monday.

TOR: Romano pitched on Saturday, so if he works again today, he will be off Monday. Monitor who sets up in their game, since the vulture save will depend on workloads in the leverage ladder.

Closer Monkey’s filthy pitch of the day was awarded to Jordan Romano‘s slider, courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

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