Only Three Perfect Closers Left
Only three closers remain perfect in save opportunities. Heading into the season two of the three would have to be considered surprises.
Mariano Rivera : 17 for 17
Rivera is having one of the best seasons of his career, amazing for a 38 year old. His ERA sits at 0.90 and in 30 IP he’s allowed only 14 hits and 2 walks, all with 30 K. The 15 K/BB ratio and the 0.53 WHIP are both ridiculous stats.
Brad Lidge : 17 for 17
Heading into 2008 nobody was exactly sure what Lidge would do. Would he flame out like he did at the end of his tenure in Houston? Would he be somewhat effective? Or would he implode and have to be replaced by the all-star break? Those we’re really the only three scenarios that existed in the majority of Phillies fans minds. The thought of a 100% save conversion rate with a 0.96 ERA just didn’t enter the picture. In 28 IP Lidge has only allowed 15 hits. He’s struck out 35 and walked 13. Surprisingly he’s allowed 0 HR. Last season he allowed 9 in 67 IP.
Todd Jones : 11 for 11
We don’t have as much of a sample in this instance. Calls for a flashier closer has been the norm throughout Jones tenure in Detroit. His mid 80’s fastball just isn’t as sexy as a fireballer. So far he’s getting it done, although with an ERA of 4.24 and a WHIP of 1.37 he isn’t as flashy as Rivera or Lidge. But with save conversion being the name of the game he’s getting the job done, plain and simple.