Monkey Bytes, May 16: Muñoz saves Seattle again, Doval hangs on against the Dodgers, Recaps, and more

Wednesday’s split slate provided multiple high-leverage events of interest, but the weak leverage ladder for the Mariners may wear down its talented closer, Andrés Muñoz. He recorded his second five-out save this year, and his MLB-leading fourth save requiring four or more outs. Camilo Doval preserved a three-run win over the Dodgers, his team’s first against their rival this season, while navigating around two hits before inducing a game-ending ground out versus the top of the lineup.

Vulture save streamers celebrated the first save of the year by Seth Martinez, one of two relievers who secured their first save in 2024, and the second of their careers (Kevin Kelly). This, and the remaining high-leverage events of interest from yesterday will be covered below in our condensed and full recaps.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | BAL): Benefiting from a walk-off rally, Danny Coulombe collected his first win after tossing a scoreless top of the ninth while giving up a hit. 

(RP | CWS): Hanging on for his fifth save, Michael Kopech navigated around two walks and recorded two strikeouts during a scoreless ninth.

(RP | HOU): Finishing a combined two-hit shutout, Seth Martinez recorded his first save of the season, and second of his career, logging two scoreless frames, issuing two walks, and striking out one against the A’s. He threw 30 pitches (16 strikes – 53.3 Strike%) and induced one whiff.

Hierarchy remains: Josh Hader | Ryan Pressly | Bryan Abreu

(RP | SEA): Securing his seventh save, and second this year requiring five-outs, Andrés Muñoz worked around a hit while recording three strikeouts preserving a two-run win over the Royals. 

(RP | TBR): Benefiting from a match-up-based approach in the late inning, Kevin Kelly recorded his first save, retiring the side in the ninth and striking out two in Boston. 

(RP | TEX): Appearing in a non-save capacity, Kirby Yates worked around a lead-off single with three straight strikeouts, preserving a shutout win over the Guardians. He threw 16 pitches (75 Strike%) and generated seven whiffs (43.8 SwStr%). He owns a 0.81 WHIP with 20 strikeouts versus seven walks over 17.1 innings.

Hierarchy remains: Kirby Yates | David Robertson | José Leclerc

(RP | TOR): Handed a one-run lead in the bottom of the ninth, Jordan Romano suffered his first loss, and first blown save, allowing a lead-off single and a walk-off two-run home run home run. 

National League

(RP | ARI): Closing out a one-run win, Paul Sewald secured his second save with a clean top of the ninth against Cincinnati. 

(RP | CIN): Suffering his fourth loss, Fernando Cruz allowed two, two-out doubles, resulting in the go-ahead run scoring in the bottom of the eighth. He also recorded two strikeouts while throwing 22 pitches (14 strikes – 63.6 Strike%) and inducing three whiffs. He’s allowed a run in three of his last four appearances.

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Lucas Sims| Fernando Cruz

(RP | MIA): Appearing for a third time in the last four days, Tanner Scott held on for his fifth save, navigating around two hits with a game-ending strikeout, preserving a combined shutout. 

(RP | SFG): Hanging on for his seventh save, Camilo Doval navigated around two hits for a scoreless ninth, preserving a win over the Dodgers. 

Vulture Save Options for Thursday, May 16

Houston: Since Josh Hader threw two innings on Tuesday, he may need one more rest day. During last night’s game, Bryan Abreu was warming in case he was needed late in the ninth inning, which may signal him being in line for the vulture save against Oakland.

Tampa Bay: Fairbanks has pitched in two straight, placing Jason Adam atop the hierarchy for the save chance this evening in Boston.

Game Recaps – American League

Baltimore Orioles – After tossing a scoreless top of the ninth, working around a one-out double by Kevin Kiermaier, Danny Coulombe collected his first win courtesy of a walk-off rally in the bottom of the ninth. He threw 15 pitches (8 strikes – 53.3 Strike%) and induced one whiff. This outing extended his scoreless streak to seven games, spanning 6.1 innings with a save and two holds. Mike Baumann logged 1.2 scoreless frames, striking out one. Cionel Pérez turned in 1.1 scoreless innings, issuing a walk and striking out one. Jacob Webb issued three walks and recorded one strikeout during a scoreless fifth.

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

*= closer-by-committee

Chicago White Sox – Despite issuing two walks, Michael Kopech secured his fifth save, tossing a scoreless top of the ninth and recording two strikeouts. He threw 33 pitches (20 strikes – 60.6 Strike%) and produced four whiffs (12.1 SwStr%). He’s been scoreless over his last five appearances and converted all three save chances with a 5:5 K:BB. Jordan Leasure continued his impressive rookie campaign, recording his seventh hold with a clean eighth, striking out one. Jared Shuster logged two clean frames and struck out one for his second hold.

Hierarchy remains: Michael Kopech | John Brebbia | Jordan Leasure

Seattle Mariners – Forced into another extended outing, Andrés Muñoz recorded his seventh save and second five-out one this season. He leads the majors with four saves requiring four-plus outs. He took over in the eighth with two runners on, letting one score on a fielder’s choice groundout then ended the inning with a strikeout. In the ninth, he navigated around a hit and an error for a scoreless outing with two more strikeouts. His final line was 1.2 innings, one hit allowed, and three strikeouts on 33 pitches (23 strikes – 69.7 Strike%) with seven whiffs (21.2 SwStr%). Austin Voth received credit for his first hold, allowing two hits and an earned run over one-third of the eighth. Ryne Stanek retired the side in the seventh for his seventh hold. Gabe Speier stranded two runners while retiring two in the sixth, one via strikeout, notching his fifth hold.

Hierarchy remains: Andrés Muñoz | Ryne Stanek | Gabe Speier

Tampa Bay Rays – Firing a clean bottom of the ninth, Kevin Kelly notched his first save and recorded two strikeouts, preserving a one-run win in Boston. He threw 15 pitches (66.7 Strike%) and induced one whiff. Pete Fairbanks made his first appearance on consecutive days, retiring the side in the eighth while striking out two for his first hold. This was a match-up-based approach with him facing the 4-5-6 Red Sox lineup lane. He threw seven pitches, all strikes, and generated four whiffs (57.1 SwStr%). Shawn Armstrong secured his third hold, tossing a scoreless seventh, yielding a hit and striking out one. Phil Maton gave up three hits, including a solo home run (Rafael Devers), and struck out one in the sixth, resulting in his ninth hold.

Hierarchy remains: *Pete Fairbanks | *Jason Adam | Garrett Cleavinger

*= closer-by-committee

Toronto Blue Jays – A bad bounce and a bomb resulted in a first loss and the first blown save for Jordan Romano. He took over the bottom of the ninth with a one-run lead but allowed a lead-off single by Jordan Westburg on a groundball that bounced off a divot near first base followed by a walk-off, two-run home run by Adley Rutschman. Romano threw eight pitches (62.5 Strike%) and induced one whiff without retiring a batter. He’s allowed at least a hit and an earned run in three of his last five outings. Tim Mayza struck out Ramón Urías, his only batter faced, for his seventh hold while stranding two runners. Yimi García tossed 1.2 scoreless frames, giving up a hit and two walks while striking out one for his sixth hold. Génesis Cabrera gave up two hits over one-third scoreless.

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

Game Recaps – National League

Arizona Diamondbacks – Slamming the door on his second save, Paul Sewald fired a clean top of the ninth, preserving a one-run win over the Reds. He threw eight pitches (50 Strike%) without getting a whiff. He’s converted a save in two of his last three outings, and been scoreless in three of four this season. Ryan Thompson collected his first win, tossing a scoreless eighth, giving up a hit, and striking out one ahead of his team’s rally in the bottom of the inning.

Hierarchy remains: Paul Sewald | Kevin Ginkel | Ryan Thompson

Miami Marlins – Even though he logged 58 pitches in two previous outings over three days, Tanner Scott took over in the ninth and preserved a combined shutout while recording his fifth save of the season. After retiring his first two batters faced, he allowed consecutive two-out singles before a game-ending strikeout of Riley Greene. Scott threw 20 pitches (85 Strike%) and produced two whiffs. This marked his first save since April 21 and his fifth straight scoreless outing in May. Calvin Faucher notched his third hold, tossing a scoreless eighth while yielding a hit. Andrew Nardi secured his fifth hold, retiring his only batter in the seventh, stranding an inherited runner.

Hierarchy remains: Tanner Scott | A.J. Puk| Anthony Bender

San Francisco Giants – Taking over in the ninth with a three-run lead against the 8-9-1 Dodgers batters, Camilo Doval recorded two quick strikeouts. Things became more interesting when he walked Mookie Betts and allowed a single by Shohei Ohtani. However, he secured his seventh save with a scoreless ninth, inducing a game-ending groundout by Freddie Freeman. Doval threw 24 pitches (58.3 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (12.5 SwStr%). This represents his second save this month and he’s been scoreless in five of six outings. Tyler Rogers was credited with his seventh hold, giving up two hits and an earned run in the eighth.

Hierarchy remains: Camilo Doval | Tyler Rogers | Ryan Walker

Closer Monkey’s filthy outing of the day was awarded to Andrés Muñoz, featuring his two strikeouts in the ninth, courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

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