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Jason Grilli might not be long for the closer role with the Pirates

Jun 19, 2014, 7:19 PM EDT

Jason Grilli Getty Getty Images

The Pirates defeated the Reds in 12 innings this afternoon at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, but Jason Grilli was the reason the game went to extra innings after he gave up a game-tying solo homer to Devin Mesoraco in the top of the ninth inning. Pirates manager Clint Hurdle was asked about Grilli’s status as the team’s closer after the game and he indicated that a change could be coming soon.

While today’s blown save was Grilli’s first since April 20, he also served up the game-winning home run on Tuesday night and has allowed five runs on eight hits and five walks over 6 2/3 innings this month. Perhaps most alarmingly, he hasn’t struck out a batter in his last six appearances, which includes 23 batters faced. The 37-year-old right-hander has a 4.34 ERA and 17/10 K/BB ratio over 18 2/3 innings overall this season.

Mark Melancon was solid as the fill-in closer when Grilli was sidelined from late-April to late-May with a strained oblique, so Hurdle could turn to him again amid the struggles. Tony Watson, who owns a dominant 0.81 ERA and 41/8 K/BB ratio over 33 innings, is another option for the gig.

  1. aphillieated - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:36 PM

    Papelbon is available… just give us Polanco and we call it good :D

    • chew1985 - Jun 19, 2014 at 9:07 PM

      I think you’re referring to Placido Polanco. That’s the only way Ruben would make this trade.

      • aphillieated - Jun 19, 2014 at 10:57 PM

        Placido Polanco plays for the Pirates smartass?

  2. ironcity6pak - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:47 PM

    Been the story this whole season. Give up more runs in the 9th than any team in the mlb. Can’t close out games.

  3. thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    Good, the guy is a douche

    • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:13 PM

      I suppose I should state why. Go find his autobiography and try to get through the first 15 pages without believing exactly what I stated above is an absolute fact.

      • doctorofsmuganomics - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:50 PM

        you read Grilli’s autobiography? You get no sympathy from me

      • thatsnuckinfuts - Jun 19, 2014 at 8:59 PM

        It was a “you gotta read this” moment

  4. mrmike2012 - Jun 20, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    As a life long Pirates fan I was hoping to see the team play better this season as last year they broke there losing streak after 20 years, this season looks like the old Pirates teams of the past pitching is bad and hitting not much better

    • dan1111 - Jun 20, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      There is nothing wrong with their hitting. They get on base more than any other team in the national league, are tied for second in OPS+, and solidly above average in runs scored.

      Their performance has been disappointing so far, but these are not the Pirates of old. They are loaded with young talent and just a few pieces away from being a dominant team.

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