New Giants closer Mark Melancon has been added to Team USA’s roster for the World Baseball Classic semifinal against Team Japan, MLB.com’s Chris Haft reports. The game will begin at 9 PM ET on Tuesday and will be played at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Melancon, who turns 32 years old on March 28, signed a four-year, $62 million contract with the Giants in December. With the Pirates and Nationals last season, Melancon saved 47 games with a 1.67 ERA and a 65/12 K/BB ratio in 71 1/3 innings.
Since the start of the 2013 season, five relievers have compiled an ERA below 2.00 while pitching at least 120 innings of relief. Melancon’s 1.80 ERA is lowest, beating Andrew Miller (1.93), Aroldis Chapman (1.93), Zach Britton (1.95), and Greg Holland (1.97). Needless to say, the Giants — which blew an MLB-worst 30 saves last season — made a major upgrade to the bullpen in signing Melancon. Team USA has done the same by adding him to its roster.
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.