|Brewers manager Ron Roenicke has traveled the path from the dugout to the pitcher's mound many, many times this season. (US Presswire)|
That sound you hear is a million devotees of sabermetrics cheering Brewers manager Ron Roenicke.
Roenicke wouldn't call Jim Henderson his "closer," but he did say Henderson would get the call when the Brewers needed an out the most.
"I don't want to say that he's our closer, but he's going to be in there," Roenicke said. "If it's tongiht and there's a closing situation, it will probably be him. I don't want to say that it will definitely be him, but it will probably be him.
"The problem is, the game may be won or lost in the seventh inning, and if I feel like Henderson is the best guy to stop that right then, maybe he's in the seventh. If I wait to get to the ninth, we may not even get to the ninth."
That's what the so-called "stat geeks" have been saying for years about closer usage -- use your best bullpen arm when it matters the most, or in other words, in the highest leverage situations.
The Brewers have blown 22 saves this season, with John Axford and Francisco Rodriguez having served as the team's closer before Henderson's gotten the call in the ninth recently.
"When you have two or three guys who are throwing well, you can cover the games when you're winning," Roenicke said (again, from MLB.com). "When you don't have that many guys that are throwing well, you can't cover all of the innings every night. It's impossible.
"So, do people feel better about us blowing a game in the seventh inning, or do they feel better about losing the game in the ninth? Is there really a difference when you lose the game? To me, it's a loss."
The Giants have recently gone to a closer-by-committee philosophy, as well. However, in San Francisco's case it's because manager Bruce Bochy has a couple of good options, while Roenicke is dealing with the opposite problem.
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