Lou Trivino was essentially unusable for the Oakland A’s. Their closer had not just hit a wall, but it had collapsed and fallen upon him. He blew two saves and lost three consecutive outings during a five game stretch where he allowed 13 runs on eight hits and five walks over his 3.2 innings. Whether it was due to being overworked during the season, or that he was quickly approaching a career high in innings, Trivino was suddenly a liability.
It appears that all he needed was some rest. The A’s went six days without using Trivino, sliding Andrew Chafin into the closer role. Trivino returned in lower leverage outings with the A’s being cautious in his usage, making certain he was ready before throwing him back into the fire.
Lou Trivino back in high leverage roles
After picking up a pair of holds, manager Bob Melvin turned to Trivino in a truly important situation on Sunday. The Angels had tied the game against Sergio Romo, with a base hit and an error bringing in a pair of runs. Trivino entered the game with the winning run on second and one out – a test to see if he was ready to return to his previous role.
Trivino was up to the challenge. He struck out Max Stassi and Jack Mayfield to end the threat in the bottom of the ninth, then handled the bottom of the tenth with ease after the A’s scored in the top of the inning. He threw just 14 pitches to record those final five outs, the type of performance that Oakland had gotten used to seeing.
That outing also indicates that Melvin is ready to trust Trivino once again. It is one thing to enter a clean inning and perform; it is quite another to have to clean up a mess and escape with the game on the line. Trivino was able to do exactly that, not only ending the threat, but also earning the victory for his efforts.
It is still too early to decree that he is ready to return to the closer role. As well as Trivino has performed lately, he still needs to earn that spot back. If he continues to pitch has he has, and can string together a couple more dominant performances, that may happen before the end of the season.
Lou Trivino has begun to earn the Oakland A’s trust once again. He is back in high leverage situations and is ready to be what they need.