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After dropping the first of three to Toronto, the Rangers earned an extra-innings victory on a home run in the bottom of the tenth with two outs by Drew Stubbs, who was pinch hitting for Mitch Moreland. It was the Rangers twenty-first win of the season. Shawn Tolleson was starting to show signs of cracking after blowing a three-run lead in the ninth.


Originally published May 16, 2016.

When he comes in with a three-run lead, Shawn Tolleson has the easiest job in sports as a closer.

It’s a slightly easier job than the extra-point kicker in football.

Every once in a while a guy misses an extra point. Even less frequently, a closer gives up three runs in the ninth inning.

It happens, though. Like Haley’s Comet happens. Like Sylvester Stallone being nominated for an Oscar happens.

And when it does happen to a closer, pitchforks and torches come out.

And when it happens too frequently, a team goes into crisis mode: We don’t have a closer! We don’t have a closer! The e sky is falling, we don’t have a closer!

That is, until they grab somebody else off their roster and have him pitch in the ninth inning and discover nearly any of your better relievers can do it.

Often teams win the World Series having gone through three or four closers. It’s the most over-rated job in baseball.

So, while last night’s game was frustrating, and while you cannot believe your closer would come in and drop his meat in the dirt in that huge of a way, don’t worry about it.

First of all, the Rangers ended up winning.

Second, the closer had a bad game, which happens.

Third, two or three other guys on the 25-man roster can be the closer if anyone decides Tolleson isn’t the man.