Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 Months

Mark Melancon picked up his second blown save in the last three days, when he was unable to protect a three-run advantage against the Reds on Friday.

It unfortunately spoiled another brilliant effort from Francisco Liriano. Melancon allowed a one-out single to Ryan Ludwick, who came around to score an unearned run when Todd Frazier reached on an error. A Zack Cozart single then put the tying run on base in the form of pinch-runner Billy Hamilton. After Hamilton swiped second, Devin Mesoraco reached on a two-run infield single on the ninth pitch of his at bat. While the runs were unearned, it's a black mark on an otherwise stellar season for Melancon.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 Months

Mark Melancon blew his third save of the season Wednesday, allowing two runs on four hits in a loss to the Padres.

Melancon retired the next two batters after a leadoff single, but the Pads got three straight two-out base knocks from Chris Denorfia, Logan Forsythe and Rene Rivera. It was a crushing loss for the Pirates, but Melancon deserves some slack, as he's still posted a 2.14 ERA while converting 14 of 16 save chances since taking over at closer.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 Months

Mark Melancon notched a save against the Cubs for the second consecutive day on Sunday, hurling a perfect ninth inning.

The right-hander struck out one and required just 11 pitches. He's recorded saves in seven straight appearances. With a lights-out aura and a sparkling 1.07 ERA and 0.88 WHIP, we expect Melancon to close out the season as closer over Jason Grilli, who doesn't even appear to be the club's No. 2 option at the moment; Kyle Farnsworth hasn't allowed a run in six appearances with the Pirates.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 7 Months

Mark Melancon slammed the door on the Cubs in the ninth inning on Saturday, protecting a one-run advantage and earning his 15th save of the season.

Melancon has been incredible at the back end of the Pirates bullpen this season, posting a 1.09 ERA, 0.89 WHIP and 65/8 K/BB ratio over his 66 1/3 innings. With Jason Grilli struggling to round back into form, there's a strong possibility Melancon could remain the team's primary closer for the remainder of the season.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 8 Months

Mark Melancon secured his 12th save of the year in the Pirates' 1-0 triumph over the Rangers on Monday.

Melancon didn't strike out a batter, but that aided him in escaping the frame in just eight pitches. The right-hander is simply pitching too well for the contending Pirates to yank him from the closer's gig in favor of Jason Grilli. Melancon is 12-for-14 in save conversions to go with a 0.85 ERA and 0.85 WHIP.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 8 Months

Mark Melancon earned his 11th save of the season in the Pirates' 4-3 victory over the Brewers on Tuesday.

On the same day as the team activated closer Jason Grilli, Melancon showed why the Pirates aren't rushing to restore him to the closer role with his 11th save in 13 chances. The right-hander owns a 60/8 K/BB ratio ERA and a silly 0.87 ERA through 62 1/3 innings this year. Though the job will likely become Grilli's again in time, Melancon still has value in all formats while he holds the closer's baton in Pittsburgh.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 8 Months

Mark Melancon notched his ninth save of the season by firing a scoreless ninth inning against the Giants.

Pittsburgh struggled earlier this month, depriving Melancon of adequate save opportunities. He's been dynamite when called upon, going 9-for-11 in save conversions with a 0.91 ERA and 0.83 WHIP over 60 appearances. Incredibly, Melancon is still first in the National League with 26 holds despite not earning his last in over a month. Melancon will add to that total in September, when Jason Grilli is expected to return from the disabled list.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 8 Months

Mark Melancon earned his eighth save of the season Monday despite allowing a run on two hits against the Padres.

Nick Hundley's RBI double cut the Pirates' lead to 3-1, but Melancon struck out Mark Kotsay to end the game. Entering the game, Melancon hadn't given up a run since July 21, a span that covered his reign as interim closer with Jason Grilli on the shelf. Melancon is 8-for-10 in save conversions and owns a pretty 0.93 ERA and 0.82 WHIP.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 9 Months

Mark Melancon earned his seventh save of the season Wednesday in the Pirates' win over the Marlins.

Melancon hasn't allowed a run since he took over the closer's job from the injured Jason Grilli on July 23, a span of seven scoreless innings. He owns a shiny 0.84 ERA and 0.81 WHIP.

Mark Melancon RP PIT 9 Months

Mark Melancon earned his fourth save of the season Saturday in the Pirates' 7-4 win over the Marlins.

Melancon has taken over at closer for the Bucs with Jason Grilli in recovery mode from a flexor tendon strain. The 28-year-old right-hander owns an outstanding 0.91 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and 48/7 K/BB ratio in 49 1/3 innings this season and is an obvious must-own in standard leagues. Pittsburgh is 1 1/2 games back of St. Louis in the NL Central.