Sunday, April 30, 2006

Bucs Mike Gonzalez Chokes in Closers' Role Again

So-called Pirates closer Mike Gonzalez, 27, brought in to shut the door in the ninth inning of Saturday's 3-2 win over the Phillies, faced three batters, walking two, before being pulled in favor of 41-year-old Roberto Hernandez. Hernandez, 11th on the all-time saves list, notched his 326th career save and now owns two of the team's five saves. The team remains committed to Gonzalez as the closer of the future, though at this rate it would seem Gonzalez hardly can be considered the closer of the present, certainly not exclusively.