Tonight's relievers ranked by pLI:
Okay, the game was clearly in hand when Wheeler and Howell entered, but Balfour - despite a negative WPA - pitched well. The two hits were a ball that nearly hit Crawford on the feet and a ball that hit off Iwamura's glove. He also threw a wicked breaking pitch. The nice thing here, is that Joe Nelson came in. Yes, it was against a lefty, but Nelson can handle lefties thanks to his breaking stuff. He did, and he did it in the highest pressured situation of the night.
Probably not something we should read too much into, but oh well. It's pretty funny to look back at some of the concerns about Nelson during spring training compared to how well he's pitched this season - minus the Oakland blip.