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The Closer: keep on Rolen

Scott Rolen didn't top 11 home runs in 2007, 2008 or 2009. So far in 2010, Rolen has turned back the clock to the days when he was a 25-home run threat. We break down how the 5-time All Star is getting it done in this edition of The Closer.


Hitters of the Night:

Scott Rolen, CIN: 3-5, 2 HR (13), 4 RBI

Scott Rolen had his third multi-homer game of the season Tuesday, helping the Reds to a 9-8 victory over the Cardinals. Rolen's first home run came off a curveball, his second homer off the pitch this season. In 2008 and 2009, Rolen had just one home run against a curveball.

GREAT SCOTT

Scott Rolen Since 2008 vs Curveballs

Victor Martinez, BOS: 5-5, 4 2B

Victor Martinez becomes the 5th player in Red Sox history with 4 doubles in a game and the first since Rick Miller in 1981. Martinez is the first player in MLB with 4 doubles in a game since Alex Rios had 4 2B against the Red Sox in 2008. V-Mart is also the first player to go 5-5 with 4 doubles since Tampa Bay's Tomas Perez in 2006 against the Yankees.

Why Ricky Nolasco won:

- Had success with his fastball. Threw strikes 76.8 pct of the time and struck out five hitters with the pitch, both season-highs for him.
- Worked the inner third of the plate: As judged by Inside Edge, Nolasco entered Tuesday's start with just four strikeouts all season on inside pitches. Against Milwaukee, Nolasco registered five punchouts on inside pitches. Brewers hitters were just 1-9 against pitches on the inner third.
- Nolasco put hitters away, as the Brewers were just 1-11 after the count got to two strikes.

Why Javier Vazquez won:

- He made batters miss on 27.5 percent of the time they swung, which was his second highest amount as a starter this year.
- Even though he got 7 strikeouts he was very effective keeping the ball down in the zone, throwing his season high 64 pitches down. This also generated season highs with 9 ground-ball outs and 52.9 percent of balls hit into play resulting in ground-balls.
- He threw first pitch strikes 73 percent of the time compared to the MLB average of 58.

Why Mike Pelfrey won:

- Worked the middle and low parts of the strikezone effectively. Threw 69 pitches and had batters swing 17 times while only yielding 1 hit.
- Finished off batters. 92 percent of batters that went to 2 strike counts were converted into outs compared to the MLB average of 72.
- He threw a strike in one of his first two pitches 93 percent of the time compared to the MLB average of 85.