Well, Kevin Gregg did it again. He provided Baltimore fans with another eye-gouging performance (at least this one was late at night). With a two-run lead in the bottom of the twelfth in Anaheim on Saturday, Gregg faced five batters and did not record a single out (even though Josh Bell did help piss away the game with a throwing error).
Gregg is no stranger to not recording outs. Saturday was the second time in a week that Gregg did not record an out in an appearance. To put that in perspective, Mariano Rivera has only done it once in his 17 year career, and that came in his rookie season of 1995.
On the year, Gregg has converted 17 of his 22 save opportunities with a 4.60 ERA and a 1.638 WHIP.
In all honesty, as bad as it sounds, but Gregg really could have band-aided this season if he would have landed just one punch on David Ortiz. The fight and the fact he told Ortiz to run his large bee-hind to first base only bought him a little over a week of fan support (partly because he was suspended for a few games and we didn’t have to see him pitch) as well as a t-shirt from Protect This Yard.
That is more than most of the past Orioles closer can say. Mike Gonzalez never recovered from blowing an Opening Day victory, which, for those of you who have never been nor root for the Orioles, is our Game 7. And the best thing George Sherrill did for Baltimore was bring in Josh Bell in a trade (which at this point is ehhh).
And if any of you are keeping track at home, in the last three seasons, the O’s have spent $24.75 million on three different closers.
Actually, let me rephrase that.
In the last three seasons, the O’s have spent $24.75 million on a 4.26 ERA, a 1.433 WHIP, and 70 saves with a 81% success rate.
For the kicker, Mike Gonzalez was paid $12 million to close for two seasons. In those two seasons, Gonzo has converted two saves and blown three. In games he appears in (remember, the supposed-to-be closer), the Orioles are 30-45.
This offseason the Orioles will most likely have to shop for a closer again; Koji is in Texas, Gonzo’s contract is up, Jim Johnson will be a starter, Gregg has no chance to be the closer next season unless he finishes 2011 with perfection, and there really isn’t anyone else who you can trot out there to close.
The main goal in closing shopping has to be to not overpay again, which seems to be an impossible task.
Of note, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Valverde, Heath Bell, and Jonathan Broxton are all available.