Arizona invested a ton of money and resources into building a strong, deep bullpen this season and yet Addison Reed has a 4.13 ERA with an astounding eight home runs allowed in 28 innings as the closer.
He’s also blown two saves and taken three losses, and when the Diamondbacks needed a save converted Sunday it was Brad Zeigler getting the call, but afterward manager Kirk Gibson made it clear that he’s sticking with Reed in the ninth inning:
He’s pitched a lot. If you look at his games you wouldn’t think he’s pitched as much as the other guys, but when you’re a closer you have to get up a lot. He just has a tired arm. It’s nothing serious or anything like that. We’re just giving him a day to recover.
Of course, as Scott Bordow of the Arizona Republic notes, Zeigler had actually pitched on four of the previous five days, so using him over Reed because Reed was overworked is an interesting explanation.
Reed has always had a problem serving up too many homers and that’s one of the reasons why many people (myself included) felt the Diamondbacks gave up too much to acquire him from the White Sox this offseason. There are 46 active pitchers with 50 or more career saves and Reed has the second-highest home run rate behind only Kyle Farnsworth.
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The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.