CLOSING IN: Victor Zambrano figures to get a look in the closer's role as the Mets experiment in the bullpen. Leading 4-0 entering the ninth Friday, Randolph was prepared to insert Zambrano for Pedro Martinez had the ace faltered. It would have qualified as a save situation once the first two batters reached against Martinez. The manager often has downplayed Aaron Heilman's candidacy as a closer because of his reliance on a changeup rather than a dominating swing-and-miss pitch like Zambrano's slider.
Zambrano prefers returning to the rotation next season, but noted he was a closer in the Venezuelan winter league and in the minors with the Devil Rays, where he had 20 saves over two seasons. Zambrano also had three saves with Tampa Bay in 2001 and '02. "Right now it's not in my mind," Zambrano said. "If it's a job I have to do, I'll be ready."
Braden Looper, likely a setup man if he returns next season, acknowledged he had been briefed about juggled bullpen roles during the final two weeks. "That's kind of the picture I got," he said.
I think Zambrano would actually be a pretty good closer, he always seems to pitch real good the first time around the batting order but he always falls apart around the 4th or 5th inning. This is probably a good decision by the Mets, better than Graves or Takatsu or whoever else they have.
Red Stripe wrote:I think Zambrano would actually be a pretty good closer, he always seems to pitch real good the first time around the batting order but he always falls apart around the 4th or 5th inning. This is probably a good decision by the Mets, better than Graves or Takatsu or whoever else they have.
Nothing about his numbers suggests that is true ..
2005 H ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA Pitch 1-15 26 9 1 10 7 4.420 1.960 0.342
Pitch 16-30 27 23 3 11 18 8.280 1.520 0.284
Pitch 31-45 18 11 1 6 18 4.180 1.010 0.207
Career H ER HR BB K ERA WHIP BAA Pitch 1-15 126 55 14 50 82 4.020 1.430 0.266
Pitch 16-30 110 68 18 73 96 5.200 1.560 0.248
Pitch 31-45 73 59 5 48 77 5.710 1.300 0.225
Really that's weird, I guess I can understand this year as I haven't really paid attention to him but in the past he always seems to fall apart around the 4th or 5th inning, mainly when he was with the D Rays I remember him going good for the first 3 then giving up like 3 or 4 runs in one inning. O well, can't argue against statistics.