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Tuesday, May 6, 2008
Yost sticking with Gagne despite league-leading five blown saves

Associated Press

MIAMI -- Eric Gagne hasn't blown his chance to be the Milwaukee Brewers' closer -- at least not yet.
Eric Gagne

Gagne

The 2003 NL Cy Young Award winner began this week's series at Florida leading the majors with five blown saves. But before Tuesday's 3-0 loss to the Marlins, manager Ned Yost said he's sticking with Gagne in the ninth inning.

Yost said it was "ridiculous" to even discuss a change, despite Gagne's 6.14 ERA in 16 games. Gagne blew a two-run lead Sunday at Houston, walking three in the ninth before Milwaukee lost in 12 innings.

"This is a guy who has had a lot of success in this role," Yost said. "You allow him the time to work through it.

"Will he get on a roll? Yeah. He hasn't been on top of his game, and he's still at the top of the league in saves. When he gets on his game, he's going to run off 15, 20, 25 of them in a row. You can't do it if you start panicking on the guy and start talking about not letting him close anymore."

Gagne went into Tuesday's game tied for third in the NL with nine saves. He's part of a bullpen that began the week with a 4.61 ERA, ahead of only San Diego in the NL.

The right-hander agreed to a $10 million, one-year contract in December to join the Brewers as a replacement for All-Star reliever Francisco Cordero. Gagne struggled last season with Boston, and this year he has walked 10 and allowed four home runs in 14 2/3 innings.

"There's nothing wrong with his mechanics. There's nothing wrong with his stuff," Yost said. "The rational thing to do in these situation is not go crazy and just continue to allow him to work through it."