Lindstrom still closing … for now
It wasn’t a ringing endorsement, but it was an endorsement, just the same.
Marlins closer Matt Lindstrom was relieved with the bases loaded and two outs on Saturday night, and ultimately Leo Nunez worked out of the jam in a 5-4 win over the Giants at Land Shark Stadium.
Even though Lindstrom is 11 of 13 in save chances, and he’s recorded eight straight saves, the hard-throwing right-hander has struggled with command.
He walked two and filled the bases before handing the ball over to Nunez, who now has two saves this year.
Asked afterwards if there were a save situation on Sunday, who would get the ball? Gonzalez answered at that specific time — after 11 p.m. ET on Saturday — it likely would be Lindstrom.
Obviously, that is subject to change. And there is a catch with the question.
Gonzalez directly answered the specific question — who would close on Sunday? Well, Nunez likely won’t be available on Sunday because he’s pitched in three straight games. So that could play in Lindstrom’s favor.
The unanswered question is: What happens if all things are equal?
Another possibility is Kiko Calero, who has been heavily used in a seventh inning setup role.
Ultimately, Gonzalez may play the matchups or who has the hot hand. The Marlins could have the makings of a committee situation.
Lindstrom clearly has the talent to close. It’s a matter of him finding the consistency.
Gonzalez made this much clear after the game: “My responsibility as a manager is to 25 guys, and the Florida Marlins, not just one guy. We’re trying to get the win for the club.”
– Joe Frisaro