A closer's greatest adversaries are walks and homers. His best friends are strikeouts, double play grounders and pop-outs. Even the most effective closers blow a save once in a while in one-run ballgames, or after coming in during the eighth inning with the bases jammed with salivating speedsters. But
Since May 21, Bailey's only given up one home run, and notched saves of more than three outs on six occasions. There are only a few guys who've equaled or exceeded that total:
Most closers are exclusively three-out guys, which makes Bailey a workhorse bargain for his team's dollar -- not that we'd expect any less from Oakland GM
Bailey's also logged the most innings (63) of any closer in the bigs. With a 10.29 K/9 and 3.27 K/BB, he's making his mark as the Athletics' closer-of-the-future,
Sure, Devine was in Atlanta from 2005-2007 while Bailey's entire major league resume consists of his stint in famously pitcher-friendly Oakland Coliseum. But Turner Field's park factor this year is actually .906 compared to Oakland's .942. Maybe I'm overanalyzing it, but it seems to me that when and if Devine returns from his Tommy John surgery, the A's first choice to close will still be Bailey -- as long as the knee injections he received earlier this year don't portend a future on the trainer's table.
Speaking of choices, the Angels had one to make after the horrific week that
Soria's Aug. 8 debacle included 4 hits, 3 ER, and 2 HR in just a single inning, while Street was even worse on Aug. 10: 4 hits, 1 BB, 4 ER in a third of an inning. Both teams won their games, but who cares? If you had Street or Soria in your RP slot, you got sunk, just like the Mariners after they plugged in the usually reliable
Tuesday was another dark day for