Here’s my voting for the BBA’s Goose Gossage Award given to the top closer in each league.
1. Craig Kimbrel, Atl: Set rookie saves record (46) and held opponents to a .178 avg.
2. John Axford, Mil: Went 46/48 in save opportunities. Has a great closer’s stache to boot!
3. Joel Hanrahan, Pit: Four blown saves and allowed just one HR in 70 appearances. Best closer no one has heard of.
1. Jose Valverde, Det: Went 49/49 in save opportunities. You can’t top perfect.
2. Mariano Rivera, NYY: Allowed just 13 runs in 61.1 IP with a 0.90 WHIP.
3. Jonathan Papelbon, Bos: Blew three saves while striking out 87 in 64.1 IP.
The postseason is suppose to be reserved for power-arms. But Randy Wolf, a soft-tossing lefty, dominated St. Louis in Game 4 to keep Milwaukee’s World Series hopes alive.
Honestly, I didn’t think Wolf had seven innings of two-run baseball in him. Not after surrendering seven earned runs to Arizona in the NLDS, which came on the heels of 10 runs allowed in 11.2 innings of his final two starts of the regular season.
But despite allowing two early solo home runs, Wolf settled down to retire 13 of his final 15 batters while keeping St. Louis hitless with RISP–The Cards finished the game 0-for-8 in that category and remain 0-for-15 after the first inning of Game 3.
For Milwaukee this October, it’s finally a starting performance that’s postseason worthy.
Game 5 starter, Zach Greinke, has allowed 16 hits and 10 runs for a 8.18 ERA over two starts. Shaun Marcum: 14 hits, 12 runs, and a 12.46 ERA in two outings.
Yovani Gallardo has been the most steady hand, but unimpressive for a staff ace: 18 hits in 19 IP, 8 walks, and 2 HR in three outings.
Even with the NLCS now a best-of-three series, the Brewers staff better find another Wolf-like performance in them. Otherwise, Randy’s gem could be the lasting highlight for a brilliant Brewers season.