The Atlanta Braves won their second game in a row against the Washington Nationals 4-3 on Friday night, capped off by a save from Shane Greene. Greene was dominating retiring the Nationals in order including an impressive three pitch strikeout.
The Atlanta Braves have had questions at the closer position for much of the season. After the Luke Jackson experiment failed Atlanta acquired Shane Greene to be the answer at closer. Greene had been dominant before coming to Atlanta.
During his time with the Tigers Greene had a 1.18 ERA and converted 22-of-25-save chances. After converting 32-saves the season before it seemed Greene has established himself as one of the better closers in the league.
Fast forward to the Braves deadline trade and he was anything but. He couldn’t record an out and looked to be a shell of the player he was in his time with the Tigers.
Slowly he has rebounded since joining the Braves leading up to his save last night to close the door on an impressive Nationals team.
Mark Melancon has been the Braves closer over the last month, however, there is cause for concern. Melancon is a veteran who lacks the dominant pitches that Shane Greene has (when he is at his best) Melancon also hasn’t been a true closer since 2016 with the Pirates.
While using both pitchers as closers is a luxury the Braves have for now come postseason time they will have to decide who they trust to finish games.
If he continues to pitch as he did when he was with the Tigers, Shane Greene should be the postseason closer for the Braves. While he lacks the experience of Melancon (191-career saves) he has better stuff and a better chance to retire postseason offenses at this point in their respective careers.
While it may not have gone as planned, Shane Greene is still the answer for the Braves. He gives them their best chance to win and close out postseason games.