General manager Kevin Towers got a lot of praise earlier this season when the Diamondbacks were in first place, but now that they’ve fallen well behind the Dodgers and nearly out of the playoff picture “blame” is a popular discussion topic in Arizona.
Here’s what the GM told Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic:
People always wonder, who are you going to blame? Is it the manager? Is it the players? Is it the GM? To me, it’s the organization. It’s all of us. There’s areas where we could all be better. I’m sure there are things that [manager Kirk Gibson] could do differently, will do differently, to make him better. The players, same way. Myself, there’s probably moves or things that if I had to do it over again, I’d do it differently.
It’s worth noting that the Diamondbacks are 71-68, so it’s hardly been a disastrous season, and they’re on pace to be a handful of games better than last year. Still, the Dodgers’ amazing surge combined with the Diamondbacks going 41-44 since June 1 has the heat rising and Towers hasn’t said for certain that Gibson will be back in 2014.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.