FriarBall: Young, pen handle Braves

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Young, pen handle Braves

Chris Young had another strong outing on Monday, giving up two run in six innings. But the bigger point has to be the fact that Scott Linebrink actually kept everything inside the park and quiet.

I have seen it written many times among the many blogs, but Heath Bell has been a great addition and the fact the Mets said they didn't have a spot for him is just ludicrous - and I'm not talking about the rapper. Bell has been lights out and anyone who can't use him must be playing something other than baseball.

Trevor Hoffman continues to close in on save 500, now only nine away. But what impresses me the most is how Hoffman has not flamed out like more than 2/3 of the guys who have ever been a closer in this league. I was reading the Washington Post on Sunday and they actually had some pretty interesting stats on closers and guys who have saved more than 30 games more than two years in a row - there aren't many. In fact, if Hoffman hadn't gotten injured a couple of years ago, he would have an active streak of 12 straight seasons dating back to 1995.

Now that I have rambled long enough, I will wrap up by saying the Padres have a strong pen and it should be the key to the season. It is already helping them win games they need to - like Monday's win against Atlanta - and except for the occasional struggle, the case could be made the best collection of relievers are assembled in sunny San Diego.

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