Joe Nathan strikes out the side for save No. 21
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(1:31 am ET) Tigers reliever Joe Nathan needed only 12 pitches to strike out the side in the ninth for the save Thursday night against the Angels. Nathan has converted 21 save in 26 tries. He owns a 5.73 ERA and a 1.49 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Aaron Crow picks up the win in extras
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:48 am ET) Royals pitcher Aaron Crow (5-1) picked up the win in extras against the Indians on Thursday. Crow struck out the side in the top of the 14th, while Norichika Aoki slapped the walkoff single in the bottom of the frame to end the game. Crow owns a 2.55 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP over 42 1/3 innings of relief.

Marc Rzepczynski pegged with loss in extras
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:45 am ET) Indians pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (0-3) was charged with the loss Thursday night against the Royals.

Rzepczynski was charged with the walkoff run in the 14th inning. Norichika Aoki slapped a single off John Axford to end the game. Rzepczynski permitted one run on one hit and no walks while striking out one over one inning of a 2-1 defeat. He owns a 3.60 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP over 35 innings of relief.

Greg Holland suffers second blown save
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(12:40 am ET) Royals closer Greg Holland was charged with his second blown save of the season Thursday night at home against the Indians.

Holland was unable to lock down the save in the ninth and permitted a game-tying RBI single to Yan Gomes with two outs. He permitted one run on two hits and one walk over one inning of work. He owns a 1.91 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP over 37 2/3 innings of relief.

Jake Petricka Ks two, closes out Twins
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) White Sox pitcher Jake Petricka struck out two and needed only 11 pitches to close out a 5-2 victory over the Twins in Minnesota. Petricka has converted five saves this season, with a 2.06 ERA and a 1.26 WHIP over 52 1/3 innings of work.

Steve Cishek nails down 24th save
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Marlins closer Steve Cishek nailed down his 24th save Thursday against the Braves.

Cishek entered the game with a one-run lead, and was able to pick up the save. He induced three fly outs from the middle of the Braves lineup for the save. Cishek lowered his ERA to 3.32 with the appearance. 


Craig Kimbrel picks up rare loss Thursday
by Chris Cwik | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Braves closer Craig Kimbrel earned a rare loss Thursday against the Marlins.

Kimbrel entered a tie game in the ninth inning. He quickly worked a strikeout for the first out of the inning. Kimbrel also struck out Marcell Ozuna, but Ozuna reached base on a wild pitch. Ozuna would also take second on another wild pitch from Kimbrel. Jarrod Saltalamacchia then proceeded to hit a single, which drove Ozuna home. 

The Braves couldn't muster up a run in the bottom of the inning, giving Kimbrel the loss. He dropped to 0-2 on the year.


GM: Chad Qualls likely to stay put in Houston
by Igor Mello | CBSSports.com
(7/24/2014) Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow told reporters that the team will likely not trade closer Chad Qualls before the July 31 trade deadline, MLB.com reports. Qualls has converted 11 saves in 13 chances with a 1.78 ERA over 35 1/3 innings this season.

"I hesitate to use the word 'untouchable,' but he likes it here, he's comfortable here and he's pitching well," Luhnow said. "To have a guy who's capable of pitching late in the game, in close games, we're going to have opportunity going forward. This is a team that's improving, and as the team improves, you have more save opportunities, more opportunities to pitch at the end of close games. We need more Chad Qualls. We don't need less."

Joakim Soria might be worth stashing
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/24/2014) Granted, he wasn't getting the most consistent save opportunities in Texas, but if you play in a league where every save matters (which is typically the case in Rotisserie formats), Joakim Soria's move to Detroit is a punch in the gut.

Mostly because the Tigers say they intend to stick with Joe Nathan as their closer. Sad face.

But let's get real here: Nathan has been terrible and has shown no clear signs of a turnaround. Since blowing his third save May 21, the longest he's gone without allowing an earned run is four appearances. That won't cut it in the ninth inning.

Soria, meanwhile, was brilliant for the Rangers even if his low save total didn't reflect it. He compiled a 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings in 35 innings. His FIP, which estimates ERA with defense and luck removed from the equation, is 1.07.

The Rangers may intend to stick with Nathan as their closer, but if both he and Soria continue to do what they've been doing, the switch could come quickly. So if you play in a league where every save matters, maybe you just stash Soria for now.


Neftali Feliz not an especially exciting pickup
by Scott White | Senior Fantasy Writer
(7/24/2014) With Joakim Soria out of town, Neftali Feliz is back closing for the Rangers, which is seemingly great since he used to be a significant Fantasy contributor in the role.

But if you haven't kept tabs on him, this version of Feliz isn't quite the same as that one. This one is still working his way back from Tommy John surgery, averaging about 3 mph less on his fastball than that one. This one has also recorded just five strikeouts in 10 1/3 innings.

In fairness, they were 10 1/3 effective innings, so maybe questioning Feliz's pitching ability isn't the way to go here. But even if you assume he's as right as rain, he probably won't be as good as Soria was with his 2.70 ERA, 0.87 WHIP and 11.3 strikeouts per nine innings. And pitching for a bad Rangers team, Soria ranked only 33rd among relief pitchers in Head-to-Head points leagues at the time of the trade, behind even non-closer Dellin Betances.

The Rangers may be the team least conducive for saves. Not only do they lose often, but they lose with bad pitching. So on the rare occasion they do win, the score typically isn't so close.

So Feliz may be a closer, but he's a closer with reduced stuff coming off major surgery for a team that won't give him any save opportunities. Sounds like Chad Qualls has met his match.


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