With the Nats adding Sean Doolittle and Ryan Madson, Albers probably won't get further consideration for their closer job, though manager Dusty Baker was noncommittal about the new relievers' roles upon hearing of the trade. Albers has quietly been very good this season for the Nats amidst their bullpen chaos, posting a 1.91 ERA and 0.91 WHIP with a 37:9 K:BB over 33 innings. He pitched Friday and struggled, allowing three hits while recording just one out, creating a one-out save opportunity for Matt Grace.
Albers did not allow a baserunner and recorded one strikeout in the ninth inning of Sunday's 10-5 win over the Braves. It was not a save situation, but Albers was brought in where many teams would use their closer in the final game of the first half. A Nationals reliever has not recorded a save since Enny Romero got one on June 17, but it seems like Albers is the guy to own for now.
Albers allowed one hit in one-third of an inning in Monday's loss to the Cubs. Albers gave up a double to the first batter he faced (Javier Baez), but then got Jeimer Candelario swinging to limit the damage after Matt Grace gave up three runs in the ninth. Enny Romero, who earned the Nationals' last save back on June 17, was used for the final two outs of the eighth Monday. While Albers and Romero appear to be the favorites for save chances with Koda Glover (back) on the DL, it seems like an inevitability that Washington will upgrade at the back end before the trade deadline.
Albers (2-1) served up a three-run home run to Tyler Flowers to blow the save and take the loss Monday night against the Braves. Albers got the final out of the eighth inning, but then walked Nick Markakis and Matt Adams before surrendering the fatal blow to Flowers in the ninth. Albers still has a nifty 2.10 ERA on the season, but it's clear that Nationals manager Dusty Baker's patience is running out with everybody in his bullpen. Koda Glover remains out with back stiffness, but Albers doesn't appear to be the answer at closer in his absence.
With Koda Glover expected to serve as the Nationals' primary closer for the time being, according to The Washington Post, it appears Albers will return to a setup role. Albers managed one save while Glover and Shawn Kelley were on the DL, and one right after both returned -- career saves No. 1 and 2 for the 34-year-old -- but manager Dusty Baker suggested Glover is the preferred ninth-inning option moving forward. "Well, right now [Glover's] the most durable and he throws strikes," Baker said. Albers was always a long shot to see regular save chances as he has just mediocre stuff and allows too much contact to be reliable presence at the end of close games.
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