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Sunday, May 25, 2014
Ventura decides to stick with Belisario

By Doug Padilla

Ronald Belisario, Ichiro Suzuki
CHICAGO -- Manager Robin Ventura said he will stand by his man ... of default.

Ronald Belisario, who was made the closer only when Matt Lindstrom went on the disabled list last weekend, will remain in the role despite struggles in all three save chances over the last week.

Belisario melted down Saturday, blowing a three-run lead in the ninth inning as the New York Yankees eventually went on to a 4-3 victory in the 10th. In two other successful saves, Belisario gave up an earned run in each.

With options limited, Ventura said he won’t judge Belisario on his last three games.

“Right now, (Belisario) is the guy who is going to be in there,” Ventura said before Sunday’s game. “He’s going to go back out.”

Other options for the role would be Zach Putnam, Jake Petricka or Daniel Webb, but none of them have much major league experience. Putnam has appeared in 29 major league games, Petricka has 36 under his belt and Webb has been in 28.

“They have done it in the minor leagues but right now, (Belisario) is the guy, if we have it today; he’s going back out,” Ventura said.

Closing isn’t just about pitching well, it’s about handling the outside pressures, all while facing better at-bats from players desperate to get on base. Only a select few have truly dominated in the role.

“It’s hard; you have to be lucky, too,” Ventura said. “It’s a combination of a lot of things. You have to have the stuff and you’ve got to be lucky and tough minded and all those things rolled into one. It’s not just one thing a guy has to have.”