Predictably, Sam Dyson struggled as the interim closer with Hunter Strickland sidelined due to a self inflicted injury. With intriguing arms like Reyes Moronta, Tony Watson and Will Smith, the Giants had options for the ninth inning with better ratios and performance over the last month. Bruce Bochy opted for Will Smith in the ninth inning in Arizona for a chance to record his first save since April 13th, 2014. Smith responded with a clean inning and striking out two. Returning from a myriad of injuries, Smith’s been terrific this season and especially in June. His 0.75 ERA, 0.67 WHIP and 21 strikeouts to four walks punctuate how good Smith’s been over his last 12 innings.
Delving a bit deeper, Smith’s 24 swinging strike percentage along with a 47.8 O-swing percentage (chase rate) combined with his 56.7 percent contact allowed fuel his surge in June. On the season, Smith’s limited left-handed hitters to a .180/.200/.231 slash line in 10.2 innings with 18 strikeouts and right-handed hitters to a .071/.191/.103 average against with 15 strikeouts. If Smith remains the preferred option for Bochy going forward, both Tony Watson and Reyes Moronta will remain on the periphery of saves if Smith needs a break. Watson possesses closer experience and currently in the midst of a 13.1 scoreless inning streak spanning 14 outings. Moronta notched his fourth hold last night and has 11 strikeouts, three wins and a save with a 3.71 ERA his last 12 games. Read the rest of this entry »