Let’s go back to May 31. On that day, Oakland A’s closer Lou Trivino blew his second save of the year, allowing two unearned runs as the Mariners took a 6-5 victory. With Trivino in the closer role for the first time, there were some concerns as to whether or not he would be able to handle the job, and if the A’s should look for a more experienced option at the trade deadline.
From that point, Trivino had been excellent. He had allowed just six runs, three earned, in his 32 innings up to Saturday, striking out 24 batters. There were some rocky moments, as he issued 13 walks, but Trivino had more than proven that he could handle the role.
Lou Trivino blows save at worst possible time
Then Saturday happened. He allowed a two run homer to pinch hitter LaMonte Wade Jr., leading to a 6-5 loss to the Giants. As both the Yankees and Astros won, that loss opened the gap in both the division and in the chase for the first Wild Card spot. Fortunately, the Red Sox also lost, allowing the A’s to keep their half game lead in the quest for the second Wild Card spot.
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Trivino was put in a difficult situation on Saturday. Andrew Chafin, who had been excellent since being acquired from the Cubs, allowed a pair of homers to cut the lead to one. Meanwhile, the A’s closer was set to pitch for the third consecutive day, a scenario that tests even the best closers in the game.
It was also a situation that Trivino had not found himself in this year, as he had yet to pitch in three consecutive games. However, the A’s have had a formula over the past few weeks – to generate an early lead and to hand the ball over to the Big Three in their bullpen. Trivino is a major key to that, especially in these must win games.
Perhaps using Sergio Romo would have been a better option, especially given Trivino’s workload and the fact that Romo has allowed just one earned run since the calendar flipped to July. But it is easy to look back with hindsight and question the decisions that were made. At the time, Trivino seemed to be the best option – he just picked the worst possible time to falter.
Lou Trivino has been solid as the Oakland A’s closer. One badly timed blown save does not change what he has done this season.