Hanrahan out as Nats closer
A day after watching the bullpen blow a four-run, the Nationals have decided that right-hander Joel Hanrahan will no longer be the closer and Garrett Mock will no longer be the eighth inning guy.
The team will go with a bullpen-by-committee with right-handers Julian Tavarez and Kip Wells as the late inning guys. Once left-hander Joe Beimel is activated from the disabled list next week, he will most likely be the closer, while Tavarez and Wells become the set-up guys.
With Mock on the mound, Shane Victorino hit a sacrifice fly to bring in Pedro Feliz and make it 11-8. After Chase Utley singled in Jimmy Rollins, Hanrahan entered the game and couldn’t find the strike zone.
Hanrahan walked both Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth on 10 pitches. Raul Ibanez then came to the plate. Hanrahan felt he had no choice but to throw a fastball to Ibanez. Hanrahan paid the price as Ibanez hit a grand slam. It was Hanrahan’s third blown save of the season.
“I hope I don’t wear out this word, but, again, it was deflating,” manager Manny Acta said. “Our offense just battled all day and scored enough runs. We played so hard for eight innings to score enough runs. You lose the game in one inning, it just tough for the whole team.”