Benitez made a return visit to pitching in the eighth in a save situation and the results were sadly familiar.
Benitez (2-8) had not pitched in an eighth-inning save situation since Aug. 2, when he blew a lead to the Rockies.
Hanley's attempt to warmup a fan in the front row didn't help anything and there is no doubt he should have easily executed the routine throw to first. He didn't. But the major problems came later in Benitez's reaction to the play. Throwing up his hands in disgust is one thing, he shouldn't have, but it is almost forgivable after Ramirez's horrible throw to first. It is what came after that which was really the problem. Benitez couldn't let it go, something I might expect from a young player, but not from a veteran. They should be above that. The Marlins were still winning the game and sure he had to get an extra out, but that couldn't have been the first time in his career that had happened. However, Benitez dwelled on it constantly glaring at Hanley and getting madder and madder as the inning wore on. In his anger he threw only fast balls as hard as he could and the Cardinals hitter just went up there sitting dead red. When Treanor finally convinced him to throw a couple of breaking pitches, he was able to get out of the inning.
I appreciate that some players are more emotional than others. But if you are going to pitch in tight situations when the team has the lead, you need better control of your emotions than that.
Benitez doesn't need to be pitching in the setup role.