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Jim Furtado
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Closers Newsbeat

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Don’t ever make closer Huston Street pitch earlier than the ninth inning

I’ll do whatever it takes to win….except pitching the eighth inning.

Traditionally, the best reliever in a team’s bullpen gets designated the closer. In recent years, though, there’s been an argument that using your best reliever in high-leverage situations is more valuable than saving your closer for a save opportunity that may never materialize.

Huston Street is not a fan of that thinking, according to David Alder of

“I’ll retire if that ever happens,” Street said. “If they ever tell me, ‘Oh, we’re gonna start using you in these high-leverage situations.’ … All right, good. You now can go find someone else to do that, because I’m going home.”

Street is referring to using closers in the earlier innings if the game dictates that situation. For example, if your team is leading by one run in the seventh inning, but the opponent has men on second and third with one out, you probably want your best reliever on the mound. That’s often the closer.

Few managers do this, however, and will bring in an inferior option even though the game is on the lin. Let’s say that player gives up both runs and your team loses by one. Now, you’ve lost a tight game and your best reliever (again, probably the closer) never got a chance to pitch. He was saved for a moment that never existed.

Street understands that, but he’s still not a fan.

“People talk about how the game is decided right now mostly in the sixth and the seventh, sometimes the eighth. I think if you were to start using the closer in those types of innings, 25 years from now you’d start noticing most games are decided in the eighth and ninth,” Street said.
We’re not so sure about that last part, but Street clearly gets the concept.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 30, 2015 at 09:05 AM | 54 comment(s)
  Beats: angels, closers, huston street, mentality, roles, the will to win



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