Let’s Be Frank About Frank Francisco
Being a closer for a major league baseball team is a thankless job: if you succeed, all you get is a pat on the posterior and a handshake from the manager. However, if you fail, you get raked over the coals.
Frank Francisco couldn’t close the door with a one-run lead against the New York Yankees, but I don’t think it’s as much a cause for concern as some people would have you believe.
First of all, Francisco really didn’t have all that much leeway in the first place; he was expected to shut down the opposition clinging to a one-run lead and the top of the Yankees lineup on the horizon. And by the time Curtis Granderson came to the plate, he already had 3 hits in the game.
Secondly, it wasn’t all Frank Francisco’s fault either. If Jose Bautista stays in front of that ball hit by Jorge Posada, he is only limited to a single and maybe the entire makeup of that inning is changed.
Francisco got all the flack for blowing the save, but shouldn’t we also be concerned that Marc Rzepczynski not only allowed an inherited runner to score, but one of his own as well? A double to a lefty, Robinson Cano nonetheless?
Prior to that at bat against Robinson Cano, Rzep held lefties to a .162 average. The batters in the ninth that tagged Francisco for hits were lefties, which were hitting .290 off him.
So if we’re going to rake Frank Francisco over the coals for that loss, I think Marc Rzepczynski should share the blame as well.
It’s not like Francisco walked any batters, he just gave up three hits. I’m not sure which is worse, but if I had to choose death by a thousand paper cuts or death by a few giant paper cuts, I’d chose the latter.
A walk-off win stings, it especially stings when it’s against the New York Yankees, and it stings even more when it’s in their own backyard.
Going into last night, the Yankees were 1-18 when behind after 8 innings, so tradition was on the side of the Blue Jays. However, last night defied convention proved that it’s especially difficult to finish off the Yankees when momentum is on their side.