With the Brewers up 6-4 in St. Louis, Corey Knebel took the ball in a save situation for the first time since mid-August. Knebel has been lights out since returning from triple-A on September 2nd. The Brewers’ righty has racked up 24 strikeouts while allowing only 2 hits and 0 runs in 12.1 innings. Knebel struck out the side (around a hit batter) to earn his sixteenth save of the season.
Jeremy Jeffress was not sitting in the bullpen last night and was unavailable due to neck spasms. Jeffress is considered day-to-day right now and Knebel could be in line for saves this week if Jeffress misses more than just tonight. Joakim Soria pitched the eighth inning with a one-run lead.
The Yankees continue to run a firm committee in the ninth inning. With three left-handed hitters due up, Aaron Boone turned to Zach Britton to hold a 4-1 lead against the Rays. Britton ended up facing two right-handed pinch hitters (Carlos Gomez and C.J. Cron) but struck out all three. Cron however, reached on a passed ball and Britton induced a Jake Bauers pop up to end it.
Aroldis Chapman, who continues to work his way back from a knee injury, struck out two and walked one while pitching the seventh inning. Dellin Betances, who collected the save on Saturday night, pitched a clean eighth.
Amongst a chorus of (well deserved) boos before every pitch, Roberto Osuna earned a save against his former team on Monday night. After running a committee with Hector Rendon when Osuna was first reinstated from the suspended list, A.J. Hinch has used Osuna as the primary closer since the beginning of September. Osuna has collected 7 saves while allowing 4 hits (1HR) in 8.2 September innings.
With Keone Kela shut down for the season in order to manage his workload, Richard Rodriguez pitched the eighth inning with the Pirates up 4-1 against the Cubs. Rodriguez, who surrendered an infield hit and struck out two batters, hasn’t allowed a run since August 14th and has enjoyed a strong 2018 campaign. Rodriguez has posted a 31.8 percent strikeout rate against only a 6.7 percent walk rate to go along with a 2.43 ERA (2.61 FIP). He might not be the first pitcher in line for saves either this year or next, but he could be the source of elite rate stats with top-10 closer potential if he is able to secure an opportunity.
Cody Allen made his first appearance since September 15th when he pitched a clean ninth inning against the White Sox on Monday night. Allen has been throwing outside of game situations in an effort to work on mechanical tweaks and manage his workload, something he’s done in years past as well. Allen collected two strikeouts and Andrew Miller pitched the eighth.
Ty Buttrey blew his second save in four days on Monday night. Ronald Guzman hit a double off the top of the center field wall and Elvis Andrus singled him home. Given Mike Scioscia’s bullpen management, Blake Parker or Justin Anderson could get the next save chance.
Quick Hits: Several closers pitched in non-save situations on Monday. Blake Treinen extended his scoreless appearance streak on Monday when he pitched a clean ninth against the Mariners. Jose Leclerc faced the heart of the Angels’ order in the bottom of the tenth (0H, 1BB) in Anaheim with the Angels and Rangers tied 4-4.
Kirby Yates got the last out of the game after Bryan Mitchell pitched 8.2 innings of shutout ball against the Giants and collected the save for his efforts. Felipe Vazquez closed out a 5-1 Pirates victory.
Bullpen Report — 9/25/2018