I went straight to bed after last night’s debacle of a 9th inning, so it was quite a treat to wake up to a) the 80th rainy morning in a row, and b) a barrage of angry tweets re: Mitchell Boggs, our new “closer-but-don’t-call-him-a-closer.”
Cardinal Nation, I beseech you: Please calm down.
There’s a reason that TLR is insistent on not naming Boggs as the Official Closer yet, and I suspect that reason has something to do with the immense pressure and responsibility that comes with that title, and the heightened fan expectations of anyone in that role. It is probably also related to the fact that, when Ryan Franklin first starts showing signs of having problems (also known as: Opening Day), LaRussa was explicit about neither Boggs nor Motte being fully ready for the closer role. They are too young/inexperienced/something for the do-or-die ninth-inning situations, or at least they were a month ago, and yet here Boggs is. Doing. And not dying. (Okay, maybe dying a tiny bit yesterday.)
Mitchell Boggs is only 27 years old (11 years younger than Ryan Franklin) and has been in the majors for a little over two full seasons. He converted all three of his first save opportunities–which means he already has two more saves than the man who was supposed to be our closer this season–and overall, he’s been pretty impressive. His first blown save is not something to be alarmed about or incensed over. He had a slim one-run lead and put in an ugly ninth inning, but frankly, it had already been a pretty ugly game. After last night, I am more concerned about a) Jaime Garcia again failing to pitch six full innings, b) Trever Miller again being brought in to get one guy out–and not getting him, and c) our continued defensive woes than I am about Mitchell Boggs and his potential to close out games for us.
So again, everyone: Pitchforks down. I know we are all extremely sensitive to blown saves right now, but Boggs is not the man to take our hurt feelings and lack of trust out on. Even Mariano Rivera is going to blow a save every once in awhile, and so, you can be sure, is Mitchell Boggs.