Probably the most disappointing thing about the struggles of Kevin Gregg this year - beyond just blowing games that should be Orioles wins - is how much he contributes to his own demise.
If he were getting crushed on the mound or giving up homers with the game on the line that would be one thing. But two of the three runners that reached yesterday to load the bases in the ninth came on a walk and a hit batter. The tie run scored on a wild pitch.
Gregg handed the Blue Jays the game. If that were a rare occurrence, again, that would be one thing, but this is happening way too much.
I don’t see anyway the Orioles can go into next season with Gregg as closer.
They are a losing team, so right now they don’t need a top notch closer. But Gregg is now 20-for-27 with save chances, for a save percentage of 74 percent.
By comparison, Jonathan Papelbon saves 97 percent at 29-for-30 and Mariano Rivera is at 88.6 at 39-for-44. Top closers work at around 85 percent or better.
Gregg gives up a batting average against of .256 and that is just .231 with runners in scoring position. But his WHIP - walk and hits per inning - is at a staggering 1.620.
Gregg has blown three of his last six save chances and is 0-2 with a 6.20 ERA since the All-Star break.
His game plan to pitch around some hitters and pitch very carefully to others to get a more favorable matchup for himself may have worked before, but it’s blowing up in his face now.
All he is doing now is handing the opponent a rally and then making his job even tougher. By pitching so carefully, he is putting runners on base and then having to be near-perfect with his pitches and he has not been able to pull that off.
Gregg is now just 8-for-13 in save chances against the AL East, for a poor percentage of 61.5 percent.
He has simply been a subpar closer this year and in my opinion has pitched his way out of the job moving forward.