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Jason Grilli exits game with right forearm discomfort

Jul 22, 2013, 11:01 PM EDT

Jason Grilli AP

One of the best feel-good stories of the season took an unfortunate turn this evening, as ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that Pirates closer Jason Grilli left a game against the Nationals in the ninth inning with right forearm discomfort.

Grilli was in obvious pain after he threw a pitch that was fouled off by Steve Lombardozzi. He walked off the field with a trainer before being replaced by Vin Mazzaro, who managed to finish off a 6-5 victory for his first major league save.

Grilli has been a revelation out of the closer role for the Pirates this season, posting a 2.34 ERA and 66/10 K/BB ratio over 42 1/3 innings while leading the National League with 30 saves. The 36-year-old recently made his first All-Star team and the cover of Sports Illustrated. He previously had Tommy John surgery in 2001 while with the Marlins.

The Pirates figure to turn to Mark Melancon at closer if Grilli needs to miss significant time. Acquired from the Red Sox in the Joel Hanrahan deal over the winter, the 28-year-old right-hander has a 0.97 ERA and 47/6 K/BB ratio over 46 1/3 innings this season.

  1. Francisco (FC) - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:09 PM

    Mark Melancon… didn’t that guy come from Houston?

    • paperlions - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:48 AM

      Houston to Boston to Pittsburgh.

  2. Stiller43 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:14 PM

    Tough to watch. He did NOT look happy

    • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:57 AM

      he didn’t look right after the first pitch, waving his hand in discomfort. he should have been taken out immediately.

  3. steelers88 - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:21 PM

    This is really a tough loss Jason Grilli is a great person and with all the injuries in his career its just tough.

  4. missthemexpos - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:35 PM

    Attention Blue Jays, time to trade a reliever to the Pirates.

    • nbjays - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:54 AM

      Sure thing… pick any one you like and we’ll send him along in exchange for Cutch. Deal?

  5. bobhpine - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    Sports Illustrated is Satan’s magazine

  6. Chip Caray's Eyebrows - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:53 PM

    Impressive that Buster Olney could find time to report anything amidst his day full of sanctimonious Ryan Braun-related tweeting.

  7. joemontanaflaccid - Jul 22, 2013 at 11:58 PM

    If Grilli is out for the duration or a significant amount of time. Brian Wilson?

    • gdobs227 - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:01 AM

      Plenty of internal options.

  8. pisano - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:03 AM

    Joba’s available, if anyone is dumb enough to want him.

  9. natslady - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:14 AM

    You’re welcome to Drew Storen, who let the “insurance” run come in with a wild pitch–after he had already uncorked a previous wild pitch and been lucky on the bounce-back. He (Storen) could also have gotten the runner at the plate, it was a difficult though not impossible play.

    In that 9th inning, with a three-run lead, Grilli had also given up a rare walk and an even rarer HR. He then gave up a double after Denard Span worked the count to 3-2. He got the next batter, but only because Ramos swung at pitches out of the zone (as did Desmond). My point is, I wonder how Grilli was feeling when he came into the game?

    • drone501 - Jul 23, 2013 at 7:36 AM

      he was throwing the ball all over the place. it wasn”t typical grilli. hopefully it’s just a strain.

  10. rcali - Jul 23, 2013 at 12:21 AM

    Yeah, Grilli gave the kind of look that seemed to say “My season is over.”

  11. insidefastball - Jul 23, 2013 at 1:54 AM

    Melancon has been awesome this year in a set-up role, but I wouldn’t even consider him in the ninth inning given how awful he looked under pressure in Boston last year.

    • yahmule - Jul 23, 2013 at 3:10 AM

      I might give him a Mulligan given the poisonous atmosphere in Boston last year. He wouldn’t be the first or even the 50th successful closer who spit the bit the first time he got the call.

  12. greenandyellowarebabypoopcolorsiwouldrathrwearpink - Jul 23, 2013 at 8:40 AM

    hello minnesota Twins: is Glen Perkins available…affordable salary All star lefty closer with a 95+ fast ball on a bad team

    • geoknows - Jul 23, 2013 at 10:32 AM

      Better yet, any chance they could talk the Royals out of Greg Holland? Better than Perkins and even cheaper because he’s pre-arb. Younger too.

      • greenandyellowarebabypoopcolorsiwouldrathrwearpink - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        perk is 30 holland is 27…both have similar stats…24 saves apiece, sub 1.70 era- perk has walked a few less, holland struck out a few more both have k rates above 12per 9 innings. both throw in the high 90’s. cant imagine kc giving up holland being there only 6 games under and cant rebuild forever, twins may give up perkins for a mid level prospect maybe…anyway i’d call both if grille is hurt bad enough

  13. jimmymarlinsfan - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:17 AM

    Good luck Grilli. Extremely nice man who you can’t help but root for

    • nderdog - Jul 23, 2013 at 11:34 AM

      Definitely. He’s a heck of a nice guy. I was really worried about him stepping into the closer role when Hanrahan was traded off, but I have been very happily surprised. I hope he comes back soon, but in the meantime, Shark Melancon will likely get the nod at closer, and I believe that’s the right call.

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