With both the one seeds still in play (Papelbon, PHI & Johnson, BAL) along with a two seed (Kimbrel, ATL) and three seed (Rodney, TB), the Final Four played itself out a little this weekend.
Here are the year-to-date stats of each remaining closer, as of May 21, 2012 at 12:00 PM EST.
#1 Johnson, BAL - 0-0, 15 SV, 0 BS, 19.2 IP, 12 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 14 K, 0.92 ERA, 0.81 WHIP
#3 Rodney, TB - 2-0, 13 SV, 0 BS, 19.2 IP, 13 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 0 HR, 3 BB, 19 K, 0.46 ERA, 0.81 WHIP
#1 Papelbon, PHI - 0-1, 12 SV, 0 BS, 16.1 IP, 11 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 HR, 4 BB, 19 K, 2.20 ERA, 0.92 WHIP
#2 Kimbrel, ATL - 0-0, 13 SV, 1 BS, 16 IP, 10 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 HR, 10 BB, 25 K, 2.25 ERA, 1.25 WHIP
Here is the updated bracket showing the Championship Round of the Closer of the Year Tournament.
In the AL, Johnson has more saves. Rodney has a better ERA , two wins, and has yet to allow a home run. I am having a hard time believing the Orioles are going to stay in contention in the AL East the entire season. For this reason, Rodney advances. Tampa Bay has proven over the past several years they have the staying power in the mighty AL East.
In the NL, Papelbon is more or a household name than Kimbrel and has a better ERA, WHIP, and better control. Kimbrel makes it interesting at times, but has yet to pitch in a game this season that the Braves lost. He's got electric stuff as is seen by the strikeout total and hasn't allowed a home run. Philadelphia will make a charge in the NL East and Atlanta should remain right near the top all season. Kimbrel is a young gun coming into his own. Kimbrel moves on.
The Final looks like this: #3 Seed AL Rodney, TB vs. #2 Seed NL Kimbrel, ATL.