With the ongoing legal drama with Cleveland Indians regular closer Chris Perez, the Indians had to give the closing duties to someone else on their staff. They settled on fourth-year reliever Vinnie Pestano to be the man saving games in Cleveland.
Through his first three appearances as the Indians’ closer, two of which were save opportunities, Pestano looked solid. In three innings of work, he allowed just three total hits, all of which actually came in one outing, two walks and no earned runs. He looked to be settling in nicely to the role with two saves under his belt.
On Saturday night in the second game of the Indians’ series with the Minnesota Twins, Pestano definitely didn’t look to be as reliable as he had previously shown.
Coming on in the ninth inning with Cleveland holding an 8-5 lead, Pestano proceeded to allow an RBI groundout and then a solo home run that brought the Indians lead to just 8-7. Pestano walked the next batter, but then struck out Josh Willingham to end the game and earn the save, despite the fact that it was far from pretty.
Though Pestano had the worst performance of any Cleveland reliever, the rest of the bullpen wasn’t great either as they allowed their lead to shrink from 8-3 to 8-5 before Pestano took the mound.
With Perez out, the Indians shouldn’t read too much into Pestano’s bad outing. This is a guy that has a 1.13 career WHIP and a 2.68 career ERA, though both have been uncharacteristically high this year. If he has another bad outing in the immediate future, the Indians might want to worry then. For now, though, Pestano should be able to bounce back and be solid as their closer.