Mike Gonzalez was removed from a save opportunity after loading the bases with a run lead in the ninth against the Phillies tonight.
Gonzalez got only one out before leaving. Roberto Hernandez took over and got pinch-hitter Alex Gonzalez to ground into a double play for his second save. Gonzalez remains the Pirates' closer, but manager Jim Tracy could keep playing the percentages in the ninth inning at times. Since the Pirates aren't exactly the '27 Yankees, that might mean Gonzalez will fall short of 30 saves.
This was not encouraging but it happens to the best of them. Some nights you just don't have your best stuff. I still think Gonzo is good for 25 saves. Mesa got 27 last year on the same team and 41 the year before.
I am the Master. Don't question the Master. Just do what he says and be proud.
I have Gonzo in my pool so not so happy to see he didn't get the save. Still, with wins so few and far between right now, you can't blame Tracey for giving him the hook when he starts to get in trouble in the ninth. Not great for his long-term development but understandable from a team looking to win some games.
IrishSox wrote:Could have been a matchup thing too, as he is a lefty.
Yes. This happened on Roberto's previous save ... the Bucs were facing a run of lefties in the 8th, so Gonzalez was sent in to get the 'hold', and Hernandez finished out the 9th against a slate of righties.
I'd expect this to continue periodically.
One thing is for sure.........Whoever Tracy sends in to close better throw strikes. Can't blame tracy for doing what he has to to win. They are the royals of the national league. Govzales i like orvella in a way....everyone just assumed he would close this year. Looks like fat hernandez will vulture plenty on a team with limited opps............Gonz has to be in the last tier of closers at this point.......As a Gozy owner i have lowered expectations.