This may have been the last straw for Ernesto Frieri as the Los Angeles Angels‘ closer as he blew his second save Wednesday in only four attempts this season.
The 28-year-old is having yet another rocky season as the team’s closer. He has an 0-2 record with a 9.35 ERA, five home runs and 14 hits allowed, and an opponent batting average of .359 in 8.2 innings of work. This is nowhere near the kind of statistics that a team wants to see from any of their pitchers, especially their closer who they rely on the seal the victory for them on nearly a nightly basis.
Frieri has allowed hits in six of his 10 appearances with four of them resulting with at least one run allowed. This lack of reliability reared its ugly head in Wednesday’s game as he gave up four runs to not only blow the save opportunity but also let the Washington Nationals come back and win a game that they had no business winning. Frieri’s outing on Wednesday immediately became a complete nightmare as he allowed a lead-off home run to Jose Lobaton that took away any confidence the four-year veteran had.
He was able to strikeout the next batter, but things continued to go downhill from that point on as he gave up three consecutive hits that included a game-tying double down the third base line which ended his night early after only collecting one out. It was as if the Nationals knew his confidence was shot and took advantage of it. With that said, it is time for the Halos to remove Frieri as the team’s closer.
It has been too much of a roller coaster with the right -hander as it does not appear things will be getting better. Los Angeles has given him a fair chance to prove he can be a reliable closer, and he has shown that he can’t handle the responsibility. The Angels don’t have to look too far to see what may happen if they keep Frieri as the close. Just check out his struggles last season where he had a career-worst 3.80 ERA with 11 home runs allowed and four blown saves.
If the Halos want the best chance at closing out wins, they will have to do it with another pitcher at closer because Frieri is just not cutting it anymore. The bottom line is that he is not the answer as the Angels’ closer, and they must go in another direction as soon as possible. If they don’t it will be the same frustrating story it has been over the last two seasons.