These facts are a part of the reason that there is a common superstition that closers in baseball don’t pitch as well in non-save situations.
No one seems to have any solid reasons for why that is. Most people seem to think it’s because the closer doesn’t have the same adrenaline in non-save situations.
You wouldn’t expect Toronto Blue Jays closer Casey Janssen to need closer adrenaline because he was an effective middle reliever his entire career before stepping in as the Blue Jays closer last May.
It may seem silly but look at Janssen’s last 2 outings which both happened to be non-save situations.
Janssen hadn’t given up an earned run all season until he came in to pitch the 9th inning of a game the Blue Jays were leading 7-3 against the Rays. A lead by 4 or more runs isn’t a save situation. And wouldn’t you know it Janssen gives up 2 runs.
Janssen hadn’t pitched in 8 days so you can’t fault him for being rusty. It’s not his fault the Jays had 3 off days, some blowout wins and losses to the Yankees. So it might just have been a coincidence that Janssen was dusting his rust off in a non-save situation.
But then 2 days later Janssen comes into the 9th inning of a tied 2-2 game against the Rays which is obviously not a save situation and gives up a run. Unlike a 4 run lead pitching in a 2-2 game should give you adrenaline. But it’s still not a save situation so it is an interesting coincidence that Janssen would give up a run again.
Especially since he’s been untouchable this season and it’s unheard nowadays for Janssen to give up a run in back to back outings.
But the boy might have gotten to use to the closer adrenaline.
For all we know Janssen was just rusty or the Rays figured out something about Janssen the rest of baseball hasn’t been able to. Or it could just be a big coincidence that Janssen has given up runs in his last 2 outings that just happened to be non-save situations.
Or the closer curse could be real and Janssen could just be a victim of it.