Monkey Bytes; June 1

Friday’s full slate yielded seven wins and seven saves by relievers. It also provided a hot topic with Toronto not using Jordan Romano during a 14-inning contest against the Pirates. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet reported after the game that the closer is day-to-day with elbow soreness, with no context on the severity of the issue. Fantasy managers will monitor this closely. When he missed the start of the season, Yimi García and Chad Green shared save duties, providing the blueprint in case Romano misses time again. As expected, the Dodgers activated Evan Phillips, resetting their hierarchy.

Our condensed and full game recaps cover all the high-leverage events of interest.

Closer CliffsNotes

American League

(RP | BAL): Turning in a clean top of the ninth and striking out two, Craig Kimbrel recorded his 13th save, closing out a two-run win over Tampa Bay. 

(RP | CLE): Making his first appearance since May 26, Emmanuel Clase worked a scoreless top of the ninth, allowing a one-out single by Luis García Jr. and recording all three outs via strikeout. He threw 13 pitches (92.3 Strike%) and generated four whiffs (30.8 SwStr%). He finishes May with 14 strikeouts versus one walk through 13 innings while converting nine of ten save chances and a minuscule 0.38 WHIP.

Hierarchy remains: Emmanuel Clase | Hunter Gaddis | Cade Smith

(RP | KCR): Kicking off an ugly eighth inning, John Schreiber suffered his first loss and picked up his 13th hold, allowing three hits and three earned runs while recording one out. 

(RP | LAA): Following his team’s rally at the top of the seventh, Matt Moore took over a tie contest in the eighth inning. However, he allowed a go-ahead solo home by Ty France among his two hits against and struck out one, resulting in his second loss.

Hierarchy remains: Carlos Estévez | Luis García | Matt Moore

(RP | SEA): Working around a one-out single, Andrés Muñoz recorded two strikeouts and racked up his 12th save on a game-ending caught stealing, preserving a one-run win over the Angels. 

(RP | TOR): After tossing 1.2 clean frames with three strikeouts, Génesis Cabrera collected his second win courtesy of a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th inning. 

National League

(RP | ATL): Securing his 14th save, Raisel Iglesias allowed a lead-off double, resulting in an earned run while preserving a two-run win over the A’s. 

(RP | CHC): Taking over with a one-run lead, Drew Smyly recorded two outs in the sixth. In the seventh, he allowed a lead-off walk and gave up a go-ahead two-run home run, resulting in his third loss and first blown save during his 1.1 inning outing. 

(RP | CIN): Hanging on for his 11th save, Alexis Díaz allowed two hits, an earned run, and a walk, but finished a one-run win over the Cubs in Chicago. 

(RP | COL)After stranding two runners in the eighth with a strikeout against Freddie Freeman, Jalen Beeks returned for the ninth, retiring the side en route to his sixth save. 

(RP | MIA): Entering the game in the top of the fifth, Declan Cronin earned his fifth win, tossing 1.1 clean frames and recording one strikeout. 

(RP | MIL): Enoli Paredes retired the side in the seventh while striking out one, resulting in his first win. He threw 10 pitches (70 Strike%) and induced one whiff.

Hierarchy remains: Trevor Megill | Elvis Peguero | Bryan Hudson

(RP | NYM): Closing out a one-run win, Reed Garrett let two inherited runners score while giving up a home run by Joc Pederson. He then served up a solo shot by Christian Walker before recording a game-ending strikeout, preserving a one-run win. 

(RP | PHI): Capping a two-run win, and helping his team become the first in the majors with 40, Jeff Hoffman retired the side while striking out two for his fifth save. 

(RP | PIT): With two outs in the bottom of the 14th, Kyle Nicolas gave up a walk-off, two-run home run by Davis Schneider, resulting in his first loss. 

(RP | SDP): Moving into a tied for the MLB-lead in saves, Robert Suarez gave up a single scoring two of three inherited runners before inducing a game-ending flyout, closing his 17th save. 

Vulture Save Options for Saturday, June 1

  • Adam Ottavino (NYM): He’s struggled in recent outings, but Garrett’s pitched in two straight and three of the last four days. Depending on how the lineup progresses, Jake Diekman could match up with a left-handed pocket in the ninth inning.
  • Toronto: If Romano remains unavailable, García will operate as the HLR, and Green could garner an ancillary save. Like the Mets’ above, it’s reliant on lineup progression.

Vulture Save Options for Sunday, June 2

  • Dillon Tate (BAL): If Kimbrel pitches again today, Tate could be the most rested and reliable reliever for Sunday’s save chance.
  • Hayden Wesneski (CHC): If Neris pitches later this afternoon, it will be two straight days, which could provide Wesneski with the save on Sunday.

American League – Full Recaps

Baltimore Orioles – Shutting the door on his 13th save, Craig Kimbrel fired a clean top of the ninth and recorded two strikeouts. He threw 15 pitches (60 Strike%) and induced two whiffs (13.3 SwStr%). He owns an eight-game scoreless streak with 10 strikeouts against zero walks. Through his 11 appearances in May, he posted a 14:3 K:BB while collecting a win, six saves, and four holds. Jacob Webb stranded a runner while retiring his only batter, notching his fifth hold. Danny Coulombe stranded two runners, issuing a walk and striking out two over a combined scoreless inning, securing his 12th hold. Yennier Cano allowed a hit and two walks over two-thirds scoreless in the seventh, getting credit for his 13th hold. Cionel Pérez earned his first win, retiring the side in the sixth and striking out one.

Hierarchy remains: Craig Kimbrel | Yennier Cano | Danny Coulombe

Kansas City Royals – Taking over in the sixth, Angel Zerpa logged 1.1 scoreless innings and stranded two inherited runners while issuing a walk and striking out one. John Schreiber suffered his first loss and was awarded his 13th hold, giving up three hits and three earned runs over one-third of the fateful eighth inning. James McArthur replaced him with the bases-loaded and no outs but let all three score and four earned runs on his ledger without recording an out. He finished with four hits against in this outing. Will Klein could not stem the tide, letting two inherited runners score and two earned on his line, yielding four hits and striking out two in the eighth.

Hierarchy remains (for now): James McArthur | John Schreiber | Chris Stratton

Seattle Mariners – Save number 12 for Andrés Muñoz, preserving a one-run win over the Angels. He allowed a one-out single by Kevin Pillar but erased him with a game-ending caught stealing. Muñoz threw 15 pitches (11 strikes – 73.2 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (20 SwStr%) while recording two strikeouts. He’s on a modest seven-game scoreless streak and finished May with seven saves while being scoreless in 11 of 12 contests, posting 19 strikeouts against one walk over 13.1 innings. Ryne Stanek collected his third win, firing a clean eighth and striking out two. Tayler Saucedo suffered his second blown save, allowing two hits, including a game-tying grand slam, scoring three inherited runners.

Hierarchy remains: Andrés Muñoz | Ryne Stanek | Gabe Speier

Toronto Blue Jays – Benefiting from a walk-off home run in the bottom of the 14th, Génesis Cabrera collected his second win, logging 1.2 clean frames and striking out three. Tim Mayza gave up an unearned run and struck out one over 1.1 innings. Nate Pearson worked two innings, allowing an unearned run on an RBI sacrifice fly by Bryan Reynolds. He threw 16 pitches (87.5 Strike%) and produced three whiffs (18.8 SwStr%). Yimi García took over a tied game in the top of the ninth and tossed a scoreless inning, giving up a walk versus the 4-5-6 lineup pocket. Chad Green retired the side in the eighth on 11 pitches.

Blue Jay relievers did not allow a hit, though fantasy managers wonder why Jordan Romano did not pitch in this contest. After the game, Ben Nicholson-Smith reported the team’s closer did not pitch because of “elbow soreness” and listed as day-to-day. 

For those speculating, the team used García as the HLR at the start of the season, with Green sharing saves with him. This may receive a second act if Romano requires an injured list stint, with Pearson entering the hierarchy; stay tuned. For now: 

Updated Hierarchy: Jordan Romano | Yimi García (HLR) | Chad Green

National League – Full Recaps

Atlanta Braves – Despite allowing a lead-off double by Zack Gelof, Raisel Iglesias retired the next three batters, giving up an earned run while recording his 14th save. This snapped a four-game scoreless streak, but he’s converted a save in his last four outings. In May, he finishes with seven strikeouts against three walks while converting seven of eight save chances over 10 innings. Joe Jiménez navigated around a hit and a walk while striking out one in a scoreless eighth for his 11th hold. Pierce Johnson secured his sixth hold, issuing a walk and striking out one in a scoreless seventh.

With A.J. Minter on the injured-list with hip inflammation: 

Updated Hierarchy: Raisel Iglesias | Joe Jiménez | Pierce Johnson

Chicago Cubs – Entering the top of the sixth, Drew Smyly recorded two outs. When he returned for the seventh, he gave up a lead-off walk and a go-ahead two-run home run by pinch hitter Santiago Espinal, resulting in his third loss and first blown save. Tyson Miller stranded a runner and tossed 1.1 scoreless frames, issuing a walk and striking out one. Héctor Neris ]allowed two hits and an earned run while recording a strikeout in the ninth. He’s allowed a run in his last two appearances.

Hierarchy remains: Héctor Neris | Mark Leiter Jr. | Hayden Wesneski

Cincinnati RedsWorking himself into and out of trouble, Alexis Díaz recorded his 11th save, finishing a one-run win over the Cubs. However, his outing began with a lead-off single and a walk before he induced a fielder’s choice groundout. With runners at the corners, he gave up a double by Seiya Suzuki, but the trail runner was thrown out at home, and Díaz retired Cody Bellinger on a game-ending flyout. His final line was two hits against, an earned run, and a walk on 19 pitches (11 strikes – 57.9 Strike%) without a whiff. He finishes May with two losses, five saves in six chances, and a 9:9 K:BB over 9.1 innings. Lucas Sims secured his eighth hold, yielding a hit and striking out one in a scoreless eighth. Sam Moll retired the side in the seventh for his third hold. Fernando Cruz was awarded his second win, letting an inherited runner score on a walk in the fifth but logging 1.1 scoreless frames ahead of his team’s rally. 

Hierarchy remains: Alexis Díaz | Lucas Sims| Fernando Cruz

Colorado Rockies – Forced into duty in the bottom of the eighth with two runners on, Jalen Beeks stranded them by striking out Freddie Freeman. He returned for the ninth and retired the side for his sixth save, preserving a three-run win. He logged 1.1 clean frames and struck out two on 16 pitches (11 strikes – 68.8 Strike%) with two whiffs. He has allowed at least a run in five of 13 appearances in May while converting six of eight save chances with 13 strikeouts versus six walks over 12.2 innings. Victor Vodnik was credited with his fourth hold, allowing a hit and a walk during two-thirds scoreless in the eighth.

Updated Hierarchy: *Jalen Beeks | *Tyler Kinley | Justin Lawrence

*= closer-by-committee

Miami Marlins – Taking over in the fifth, Declan Cronin collected his fifth win, retiring all four batters faced and striking out one. A.J. Puk took the baton, logging 1.2 clean frames and recording two strikeouts for his first hold. He threw 15 pitches (80 Strike%) and produced four whiffs (26.7 SwStr%). Calvin Faucher gave up a hit during a scoreless eighth. Burch Smith finished the six-run win with a scoreless ninth, yielding a hit.

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

New York Mets – Handed a five-run lead with two runners on and one out in the top of the ninth, Reed Garrett induced a ground out, then allowed a three-run home run by Joc Pederson, scoring both runners, followed by a solo home run by Christian Walker, before a game-ending strikeout of Lourdes Gurriel Jr. Sean Reid-Foley gave up a hit, two earned runs, and two walks while striking out one during his 1.1 innings. Jake Diekman retired the side in the seventh, striking out one. Dedniel Núñez recorded his first hold, striking out both batters faced in the top of the sixth.

Hierarchy remains: *Reed Garrett | *Jake Diekman | *Adam Ottavino

*= closer-by-committee

Philadelphia Phillies – Nailing down his fifth save, Jeff Hoffman retired the side and recorded two strikeouts, preserving his team’s 40th win. He faced the Cardinals’ 3-4-5 lineup pocket and threw 13 pitches (8 strikes – 61.5 Strike%) with four whiffs (30.8 SwStr%). He made 11 appearances in May, converting three of four save chances and four holds while posting a 14:2 K:BB over 10.2 innings. José Alvarado fired a clean eighth against the 9-1-2 batters for his fifth hold. He worked in 13 games this month, closing out four of five save opportunities while recording four holds with an 11:3 K:BB through 12.2 innings. Matt Strahm retired both batters in the seventh, one via strikeout for his sixth hold. 

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

*= closer-by-committee

Pittsburgh Pirates – Tasked with the bottom of the 14th, Kyle Nicolas suffered his first loss, allowing a walk-off, two-run home run (Davis Schneider) during his two-thirds of an inning. Carmen Mlodzinski was tagged with his first blown save, letting the “place” runner score in the 12th while logging two innings, issuing two walks, and striking out three. Hunter Stratton worked two innings, giving up a hit, an unearned run, and a walk while striking out one. David Bednar turned in a scoreless ninth, allowing a hit and striking out one on 17 pitches (15 strikes – 88.2 Strike%) and induced one whiff. Aroldis Chapman escaped with a scoreless eighth, navigating around two walks and recording one strikeout. Colin Holderman absorbed his second blown save, yielding a hit and an earned run on a fly ball Ji Hwan Bae lost in the lights. He recorded two strikeouts during his outing in the seventh.

Hierarchy remains: David Bednar | Colin Holderman | Aroldis Chapman

San Diego Padres – Pressed into action and entering a messy situation, Robert Suarez let two of three inherited runners score on a Freddy Fermin single, then retired Nelson Velázquez on a game-ending fly-out, preserving an 11-8 win and securing his 17th save. He was scoreless in 11 out of 12 outings in May, producing 13 strikeouts versus one walk while converting seven saves through 13 innings. Stephen Kolek created the mess, allowing six hits and five earned runs during his two-thirds of the ninth. Wandy Peralta tossed a scoreless eighth, allowing a hit and striking out two. Yuki Matsui collected his third win, retiring the side in the seventh. Jeremiah Estrada let one of two inherited runners score while throwing only two pitches in his two-thirds of an inning. He issued Salvador Perez an intentional walk before a sacrifice fly and an inning-ending pop-out.

Hierarchy remains: Robert Suarez | Jeremiah Estrada | Yuki Matsui

Closer Monkey’s filthy pitch of the day is this slider by Jeff Hoffman, video courtesy of the Pitching Ninja.

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