After going 9-for-9 in save opportunities to open his season, Brandon League has now lost four of Seattle's last five games and turned what could have been a 20-19 record into a 16-23 mark.
Tonight in Cleveland, he took a 4-2 lead from Doug Fister, who pitched eight marvelous innings, and needed three outs for the save. He got two of them, losing the game on Travis Hafner's two-out, two-run walk-off home run after the ninth began with back-to-back doubles.
“I thought it was a good pitch,” League said. “He got under it.I’m trying to stay positive, but that’s real, real rough.“
" The two doubles …the second one was up in the air. It can always go two ways, and it didn’t go my way tonight.”
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League wasn't about to criticize rookie left fielder Carlos Peguero, who had a night that all but broke his heart. He hit his first big-league home run. He forgot how many outs there were in the ninth inning and was easily doubled off first base.
And on Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double in the bottom of the ninth, he was frozen at impact and then couldn't make what would have been a running catch. Afterward, Peguero was inconsolable.
Manager Eric Wedge had their backs: “Peguero will learn from it. So will Brandon. You’ve got to be strong on bad days, but that doesn’t mean it hurts any less. We’ll get through this stretch and be better for it.”
This is the kind of week Leaue has had: He lost Sunday at Safeco Field, lost Tuesday in Baltimore when he couldn't hold a 13th inning, one run lead. He lost Thursday in Baltimore when he failed to hold a 10th-inning one-run lead.
And he lost tonight when a one-run ninth-inning lead slipped away. Had he ever had a stretch of games like that - closing or setting up?
"Not that I remember," he said.