Well, Frankie had me fooled. Two quick outs and two strikes on the 3rd guy, and it looked like we were about to get treated to the elusive clean save. You know what happened: a walk, a double (lefties are killing him), and a two-run single.
I think closers are over-rated even when they do roll up the string of saves—it’s not that unusual for a pitcher at any time of the game to go out there with nobody on base and not give up any runs. I also think that when closers do fail, there is a lot of fan overreaction. It’s baseball. Balls fall in the gaps, grounders sneak through the infield, someone blasts a good pitch, your infielder boots a double-play ball, things happen.
But when you look at Frankie’s numbers, you aren’t looking at fluke bad luck. He has a 6.35 ERA and an appalling 1.853 WHIP. There aren’t many spots on major league staffs for guys who put 2 guys on base per inning in any inning, much less the 9th (the only Tiger with a higher WHIP is Anibal Sanchez). And if you can throw a lefty up there, it’s truly frightening: lefties are hitting .344 with a 1.167 OPS against him.
Today’s Someone Save Us Lineup:
- Andrew Romine, CF
- Nick Castellanos, 3B
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Justin Upton, LF
- Jim Adduci, RF
- James McCann, C
- Jose Iglesias, SS
- Dixon Machado, 2B
Pitching: Daniel Norris vs Sonny Gray
Romine roams out to center today, so we get a rare look at Dixon at 2nd.