Frank Francisco blew the save last night, one that would have pushed our winning streak to 6 games, and a season high 6 games over .500. The loss is not catastrophic by any means, but it just re-emphasizes that fact that we don’t have a shut down closer.
As crazy as our former closer Frankie Rodriguez was, he was still a top level closer and despite his high wire act most nights, he usually got the job done. There were also nights where he was just unhittable and even stretches of games where he would pitch four days in a row without being touched.
So far Francisco has just not been very reliable. You want to see an ugly stat line for a closer just take a look Frankie’s numbers below.
He has saved 8-10 games so far, which is not terrible considering what we have seen around baseball early on. Heath Bell lost his closers role, and teams like Cincinnati, the White Sox and the Dodgers have major issues in the pen. But Francisco was brought in to be the closer, and was given decent money to do so, 2 years and $12 Million to be exact. I just really wish that Alderson would have just given him a 1 year deal, or at least have made the second an option year or performance based. I have to say the early return on this move might be the first mistake Alderson has made as Mets GM, but it is still very early to judge.
There is a reason why a guy like this has never been a full time closer for a team. He can get the job done at times, and even for extended stretches of time, but he is not going to be a shut down guy. If this continues I just don’t see any way he can stay the closer long term. If this team is going to be competitive then he needs to be competitive as well. Allowing 24 base runners in just 13 innings is not going to get the job done.
We all know that Terry holds players accountable, and he will not sit idly and let any one player lose games for us. Francisco better get his act together or we may begin to see some changes to the back end of our bullpen.