Closers Struggling This Postseason

If there is one trend this postseason, it might be the blown save.  Jonathan Broxton was the latest to fall victim to it, last night, as Jimmy Rollins smoked a two-run double to turn a potential tied series into a commanding 3-1 series lead.  But Broxton is not alone this October.  Closers have entered a playoff game in a save situation 16 times so far this offseason, and six times they have blown the lead, a stark contrast to last season:

Closers in Save Situations, 2008-2009 Playoffs
Year Sv BSv IP H R ER BB SO ERA FIP WHIP BA/OBP/SLG
2008 15 3 22.2 14 5 5 7 32 1.99 2.40 0.926 .177/.241/.304
2009 10 6 15.0 19 14 12 13 8 7.20 6.62 2.133 .302/.429/.460

In addition to Broxton, the blown saves are spread out among six of the eight playoff teams.  Alex Rodriguez is responsible for two of them, with game-tying home runs in separate games off Joe Nathan and Brian Fuentes.  The Angels scored the first runs ever allowed in the postseason by Jonathan Papelbon while eliminating the Red Sox.  The Dodgers benefited from Ryan Franklin's wildness (and Matt Holliday's gaffe) in the NLDS.

Mariano Rivera is one of the two playoff closers without a blown save this year, which doesn't come as much of a surprise since his plaque in Cooperstown should probably say "greatest closer ever" or something close to that.  The only other unblemished closer this postseason has been Brad Lidge, who was easily the most blemished during the regular season, with his 11 blown saves and 7.21 ERA.

With the wound from last night's game still fresh, I don't know if this is comforting or not.  But just know that Broxton isn't alone in struggling this offseason.  Misery has plenty of company.

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