Flash back to June 10 of last season. On that night, McGee allowed four runs in the ninth inning as the San Diego Padres rallied for a 7-5 win at Coors Field. McGee, Colorado’s closer, would not only lose the game but also suffer a knee injury that would sideline him until July 2. By the time, he came back, McGee was no longer Colorado’s closer and his season would change completely.
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After McGee surrendered the lead to the Padres, Colorado was 26-2 in games where they led after eight innings. At that point, he had allowed 12 earned runs … and nine of them came in two appearances (four against the Padres and five in an April 24 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers). Between those two games, that’s nine runs in 1.1 innings of work. Other than that, he had surrendered three runs in 20.1 innings.
McGee had converted eight consecutive saves coming into the Padres game and went 9-for-10 in save opportunities in May, stringing together a 1.50 ERA during the month.
The 30-year-old southpaw had a solid August and September, with an ERA never going above 3.60 in a single month.
In all, he finished with a 4.73 ERA and his 15 saves led the team. Yet it felt like last season was a lost one for McGee. This year, however, will be different for him.
With Mike Dunn now on the roster, it’s expected he will have much of the left-handed specialist role that Boone Logan had last season. So where does that leave McGee? In a new, no-pressure role, it seems. He likely won’t be in the mix for closer so McGee may have a bigger role in the earlier innings. It could well be a role that suits him well.