IN RANGER SUAREZ, PHILS FINALLY HAVE A CLOSER, AT LEAST FOR NOW!

By Sam Bush

Ranger Suarez looked like the latest success story in the Phillies ongoing search for a competent closer.

At least for one night, his clean ninth inning in the Phillies’ 4-2 victory over the Padres.

“Just like any other night,” Suárez said through an interpreter. “I just went out there, got on the mound, and I knew that I had to just take care of what I usually do, which is take care of my command and throw the ball in the strike zone.”

“He’s got such a slow heartbeat,” Phillies manager Joe Girardi said of Suarez’ first career MLB save.

“I’ve brought him in some pretty tough situations this year with runners on, and he’s done a really good job. But Ranger is not a guy that’s going to reach for extra. That’s the thing. He’s going to just make pitches, and that’s what he did again tonight.”

“It’s not really that I have a slow heartbeat,” he said. “It’s that I honestly trust in myself. I have plenty of confidence in all my pitches, my talent and what I can do to help this team.”

Suárez is 4-2 with a 0.85 ERA in 19 appearances this season. He typically pitches multiple innings because he is a former starter. Those types of relievers are valuable. But the Phillies cannot be picky about their bullpen roles right now. They need a closer. They have 22 blown saves in 80 games, already just three shy of the franchise-record 25 set in 2004.

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