There are some regular season games where teams simply go through the motions and then there are some games that have that playoff feeling. One of those games happened the other night between the Red Sox and the Angels. The game concluded with Angels closer Brian Fuentes not only blowing the game but losing the game in dramatic fashion after loading the bases with 2 outs and then allowing a game winning bloop single. Say what you want about a few questionable calls by the umpire and possibly lackluster effort from their leftfielder, the fact of the matter is that Fuentes has blown seven saves this season and has four BS since the All-Star break. Those with him on their team might want to look at Kevin Jepsen or possibly the newly recalled Jose Arredondo if his struggles continue. There were many thinking that Arredondo was going to inherit the closer role after K-Rod exited via free agency. That didn’t happen but the potential is still there and he had a strong minor league campaign. Fuentes has a fairly long rope but the Angels must have a reliable stopper to win. Still, react accordingly.
Just when people thought Ryan Madson was the new and latest flavor in Philly, a familiar face again rose to the top in the form of Brad Lidge. Last night, when the Phillies had the lead and needed the game closed, Phillies manager Charlie Manuel called on Lidge and not Madson to end the game. Lidge gave up a triple and then allowed that runner to score but apart from that he looked reasonably impressive as he notched the save. Whether Madson owners like it or not, Lidge will likely again get the majority of saves as Philadelphia begins to get primed for the playoffs. I venture to say that Lidge’s leash could get somewhat long once they clinch the NL East as he continues to overcome his struggles this year.
Two temporary closers, Franklin Morales and Leo Nunez, should soon see their role diminish as full-timers Matt Lindstrom and Huston Street are eased back into late-inning duty. Morales has been impressive as the interim stopper but Leo Nunez has been off and on with a big time tendency to give up the long ball. It has become clear that Nunez isn’t a closer but Morales has shown that if the starting thing doesn’t work out, he could have a future in relief. For those owners in fantasy league contention still, activating Lindstrom and Street in the coming week would likely be a wise decision.
Matthew Robertson is one of a growing number of fantasy experts who write for the Cafe. You can catch up with Matthew in the Cafe's forums where he posts under the name of Havok1517.
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