October 6, 2014; San Francisco, CA, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) delivers a pitch during game three of the 2014 NLDS baseball playoff game against the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
4. Drew Storen
Drew Storen enters the 2015 season as the Nationals’ primary closer after taking over the duties from a floundering Rafael Soriano at the end of last season. Most Nationals fans do not need to be reminded of the checkered past of one Drew Storen.
The Nationals are up 7-5 headed into the top of the 9th, and Drew Storen proceeds to give up 4 runs, ensuring a Nats loss and an early exit.
After this meltdown, Storen spent some time in Triple-A regaining his composure and tweaking his mechanics. He returned to the roster for good in 2014 and performed well with a 1.25 ERA over 50 innings.
But we also have Exhibit B: Game 2 of the 2014 NLDS against the San Fransisco Giants.
After a near perfect gem from Jordan Zimmermann, Drew Storen needed just one out to put the Nationals right back into series. Unfortunately for Nationals’ fans, Storen gave up a quick single from Buster Posey and a game-tying double from Pablo Sandaval.
Right now, I think Drew Storen has the stuff to be a great closer in the regular season. But we have two examples that show his questionable output under playoff pressure.
The Nationals are expected to win the NL East and compete for the best record in the league, but they need to make a playoff run for this season to be considered a success and Storen operating under pressure is a key factor in that playoff run.
Next: Number 3