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The cult of the closer


jeffy
Verified Member

I don't really know what other options Pinella may have had yesterday (or if Marmol would have been capable of continuing in the 9th), but when Marmall was cruising along, I was thinking that at least they will have a shot pulling this out against Kerry Wood in the ninth. Then when Wood was having problems, I just had to laugh at the fact that no matter how poorly things were going for him, no matter how many he put on base, no matter how many balls were hit over the outfielder's heads, there would be no pitching change...at least until the Brewers tied it or got a lead.

The point is not that specific occurance, as the same thing would occur if it were the Brewers or any other team in that same situation. It is just that the mandatory use of a "closer" is really such a bizarre development. Not that I think it can be changed, as it seems that the mentalilty of bullpen pitchers today will not allow any other system to work.

Brian and Bill talked about how Marmol is so good he will surely one day be a closer. I'm thinking I hope the Cubs do make him their closer, so he won't be available to pitch in more critical situations. They will be better at holding leads in the ninth, but lose games in the earlier innings instead.

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I think you can do it either way, but the point is you need 3 quality relievers minimum. Pitching your reliever with the best stuff in tough situations is great and all but if you don't have a guy that can close games it doesn't matter much when your best reliever pitches.
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I think Closers are used poorly in general but the Cubs have the proper setup. Your best RP is used in the 7th/8th inning and a dependable guy who can only go 1 inning goes in the 9th most of the time.

 

There was no real reason to replace Wood yesterday. He hit a guy and then what should have been an out turned into a double because Soriano is playing hurt. A decently hit groundball that found a hole and then a hot hitter smokes a double that is almost caught. I don't see anywhere in the 9th where I would have yanked Wood for someone else yesterday unless you want to yank him after the double.

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I don't understand the concept of keeping your best reliever out until the 9th. By that time, the lead that you might have had could be gone. I wouldn't be opposed to taking the best reliever and pitting him against the heart of the order, no matter when that is. I wouldn't mind sending up any of our relievers if they have to face 6,7,8 hitters in the 9th.

 

As for Marmol, I'll be more than happy if he ends up taking a closer role. It would be even better if he went somewhere else for a closer role http://forum.brewerfan.net/images/smilies/smile.gif

If I had Braun's pee in my fridge I'd tell everybody.

~Nottso

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It would be bow down before the God of baseball GMs if Marmol came to the Brewers for Turnbow and Gwynn.

 

There is only one thing I don't like about how closers are used. In extra innings, if the game is about to be lost because of an inept reliever, put your best guy in to save the situation.

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EA Sports...It's in the game...until we arbitrarily decide to shut off the server.

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It would be bow down before the God of baseball GMs if Marmol came to the Brewers for Turnbow and Gwynn.

....and while I'm dreaming, I'd like a pony!

 

Even Cubs GM Hendry isn't enough of a moron to pull the trigger on that trade. He'd be given the Mussolini treatment on a lamppost outside the Cubbie Bear before the ink was even dry!

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And I might just join Cubs fans' in that treatment on principle alone!

 

Holy smokes.

 

I do agree that they're doing it right by having him pitch shutdown during the late innings for now. Wood blows a few more and I'd have to expect them to do something, most likely involving Marmol.

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I still expect a Turnbow style adjustment with Marmol, he really doesn't throw a lot of strikes he just has so much movement that hitters swing at bad pitches. His BBs spiked big time in the second half last year but his LOB% spiked with it which hid the problem some.

 

Obviously I'm not going to project a complete Turnbow style collapse but I still think you see his ERA creep up around 3.00 at some point in the season.

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what should have been an out turned into a double because Soriano is playing hurt.

 

The sad part (for Cubs fans, at least) is that he was there in time to make the play but flinched, because he's so scared of running into the wall.

"I wasted so much time in my life hating Juventus or A.C. Milan that I should have spent hating the Cardinals." ~kalle8

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There was no real reason to replace Wood yesterday. He hit a guy and then what should have been an out turned into a double because Soriano is playing hurt. A decently hit groundball that found a hole and then a hot hitter smokes a double that is almost caught. I don't see anywhere in the 9th where I would have yanked Wood for someone else yesterday unless you want to yank him after the double.

Perhaps I'm wrong on this specific occurance...I was listening on the radio, so did not see how the hits actually occured. But still, when in comes to the use of the closer, managers, for the most part, act like automatons. Not that I really blame them, since they are pretty much required to do so for a variety of reasons.

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Any player who can pitch more than one inning shouldn't be a closer. It is much like having a pitcher who can go 200 innings should never be a reliever. Problem with MLB now is that saves=money. YOu almost have to put your best reliever as the closer or players think you are stealing from them.

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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Interesting thread. Somewhere along the line the last pitcher to pitch in a game got a different title and a stat to go along with it. Now they are the most overpaid and overrated position on a baseball team. It's not that they are not important they're just not more important than the other relievers on the staff. Three outs is three outs no matter when you get them, 1st, 6th, or 9th. If I'm manager I'm using my best reliever when I need an out whether or not it's in the 9th or not. Two on and one out in the 6th, with a one run lead and I want my best guy in there now.
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If I'm manager I'm using my best reliever when I need an out whether or not it's in the 9th or not. Two on and one out in the 6th, with a one run lead and I want my best guy in there now.

Ahhh... the good old 'Fireman'. There are a lot of ways in which specialized player usage has evolved & improved the competition/difficulty in MLB. The closer role imo is sadly not one of them.

http://www.baseball-almanac.com/players/pics/dan_plesac_autograph.jpg

Man, was he great. I notice from another image search return (back of a '90 baseball card) that in '89 Danny threw 61 1/3 IP in 52 games, registering 33 saves... and he was lights-out (17 BB / 52 K). Meaning, he cleary came in for certain non-save situations (& did so fairly regularly), and also commonly pitched more than one inning. I knew this from following the Crew then, but it was great to see yet depressing at the same time. I agree with NievesNoNO -- 'closers' only exist due to overvaluing & overpaying for an odd stat.

Stearns Brewing Co.: Sustainability from farm to plate
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The closer role gave us a win tonight

 

Franklin pitched the 8th inning and got three outs on five pitches. Franklin has pitched much better than Isringhausen all year, a 2.00 ERA vs 7.47 for Isringhausen, yet Franklin is removed after only throwing five pitches the previous inning because the "closer" has to pitch the 9th.

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An interseting thing about the save stat is that you can blow a save without being in line to earn a save. Makes a career save % pretty scewed if you are not a closer your whole career.

 

Fantasy article on the Brewers pen. Has the leverage index for Torres, Mota and Riske so far. Wish it would have included Gagne in there. Mota appears to be pitching in the highest leverage situations of the 3.

 

http://www.hardballtimes.com/main/fantasy/article/the-save-speculator-milwaukee-brewers/

Fan is short for fanatic.

I blame Wang.

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