Jul 22, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals relief pitcher Drew Storen (22) throws to the New York Mets during the ninth inning at Nationals Park. The Washington Nationals won 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports
Storen Gets Another One Run Save
After the Nationals took the lead in the bottom of the eighth inning, it was up to closer Drew Storen to shut the door in the top of the ninth and he did just that. Storen was able to strike out Wilmer Flores, Kirk Nieuwenhuis, and Kevin Plawecki to end the game. While he wasn’t exactly facing murderer’s row, Storen has shown he can consistently pick up saves for the Nationals.
This season, Storen has 29 saves in 31 chances and has converted eight straight saves since blowing a 1-0 lead against the Atlanta Braves on June 24. His 29 saves are second in the NL behind Mark Melancon (30). The Nats will see Melancon when they take on the Pirates this week.
While there have been trade rumors surrounding the Nats involving Reds’ closer Aroldis Chapman and Padres’ closer Craig Kimbrel, there is no need, in my opinion, for the Nats to trade for another type to put even more pressure on Storen.
In Jon Heyman’s column yesterday on CBS Sports, Storen notes an important stat that might change how you view his ability to pick up big time saves on a consistent basis. The 27-year-old has the most one-run saves of any closer in the game (14).
Yesterday, he got a 0-2 count on all three hitters that he faced. He was able to use his fastball to strike out Flores and Plawekci, a fastball that he was able to get up to 96 miles per hour at times. Plus, he had that nasty slider on the outside corner, which got Nieuwenhuis to strike out looking. All in all, the Nats could use middle relief help in the bullpen, but they should let Storen continue the confidence that he has right now in the closer role.