Ken Giles has yet to fail in his role as closer with the Philadelphia Phillies and continues to show he is a worthy successor to Jonathan Papelbon.
The hard-throwing right-hander passed perhaps his toughest test since inheriting the closer's role, getting the final four outs in Wednesday's 7-6 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks to improve to 7-for-7 in save opportunities.
The 24-year-old Giles had one career save prior to this year and was 0-for-3 in save chances this season when the Phillies shipped Papelbon to the Washington Nationals just prior to the trade deadline. Still, he hardly lacked for confidence.
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“I’m not scared of anybody at all,” Giles said. “I want them to feel intimidated by me when I’m on the mound, that they have to go through me before they can win this game.”
Giles came on in the eighth inning of a one-run game Wednesday to face star Diamondbacks first baseman Paul Goldschmidt with the tying run at third. He won the duel by striking out the major league's leading hitter before working around a two-out single in the ninth to nail down the win.
“Let me tell you, that guy is one of the best hitters in the league, if not the best,” Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said of Goldschmidt. “That was as tough a situation as you’re going to be in and Kenny came out on top.”