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  • Closing Time, or Not Philadelphia Phillies‘ Closer Hector Neris took the mound in the 9th inning on Friday night holding a 1-0 lead against the New York Mets. Here we go again. A closer is a team’s best reliever. Their job is simple: get outs and don’t blow the lead. Closers are supposed to strike fear in an opposing lineup. When they step onto the field, or their walkout music plays, the wind goes out of the opposing team’s sails. The idea of a comeback becomes a longshot based solely on the presence of a dominant closer. A closer isn’t just the guy on the mound who throws hard and keeps hitters guessing he is also the mindset instilled in the other team, a little voice in their heads that says, “We’re screwed.” When Enter Sandman played, the Yankees were going to win. When Jonathon Papelbon came in for the Red Sox or Trevor Hoffman for the Padres their teams were going to win. Brian Wilson, beard and all, with the Giants. Craig Kimbrel or Kenley Jansen. Those are just recent dominant closers; the list goes on and on. Then there’s the 2018 Philadelphia Phillies’ closer. Enter Neris, and let the hanging split fingers, and four-pitch walks begin. There is absolutely no sense of fear instilled in any team when Neris trots out of the bullpen and takes the mound with a lead. As a Phillies’ fan, my heart drops as the foreseeable blown save unfolds in front of my eyes. Another Blown Save by the Phillies’ Closer Against the New York Mets on Friday night, the Phillies entered the 9th inning holding a small lead, and Neris took the mound. Here we go again. After getting the first batter to pop out to Maikel Franco, Neris gave up a...