8/5/2014 1:46 A.M. ET
Street succeeds by staying in the now
Angels' closer focused on current opponent and nothing else
By Matthew DeFranks / MLB.com
LOS ANGELES -- The Angels count on Huston Street to close games, lock down saves and secure wins. That's his job, that's what they pay him for, that's why they traded for him.
But to Street, his job description reads a little bit differently.
"My job is to play today," Street said. "They pay the media to remember, they pay me to forget. Forget the good ones; forget the bad ones. Your saves aren't going to get you more saves."
While Street may want to forget each of his outings, the Angels have no reason to erase his seven scoreless innings from their memories. Since coming over from San Diego on July 18, Street has lowered his season ERA to 0.90 while picking up six saves and striking out nine.
Since 2011, Street has converted 93 percent (115 of 123) of his save opportunities, tops in baseball. This season, the 31-year-old owns the best ERA among MLB closers and has saved 30 of 31 opportunities.
"Huston brings a talent to be able to close games out," Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. "I think that his ability and his experience in knowing his stuff and knowing hitters and what it means pitching in the ninth inning, it's brought a dynamic to our club that's helped us deepen the back end of our 'pen. He's going to be important for us."
Even before he even donned an Angels uniform, the organization showed just how important Street would be to them. The Angels and general manager Jerry Dipoto raided an already thin farm system to acquire Street, sending three of their top 10 prospects to San Diego to land Street.
Street has not allowed a run or blown a save since July 5 with the Padres. He has given up four hits and two walks since that date.
"I don't build on any outings," Street said. "I don't believe in that. I believe in making the next pitch, one pitch at a time. I think the media, their job is to track it. Their job is to create a stat, my job is to make the next pitch."
After nearing blowing a two-run lead Friday at Tampa Bay by loading the bases with no outs, Street had to rebound quickly two days later to secure another two-run Angels lead. He worked a 1-2-3 ninth on Sunday, his 22nd perfect inning of the season.
"So no matter what you've done, you haven't done anything," Street said. "You're just trying to play until they say the season's over. That's really how I've built my career, that one pitch, one day at a time. You wake up, it's been 10 years, and all I'm trying to do is play today and maybe I wake and there'll be 10 more behind me."
The decades could pile up in fans' memories and teams' history books but they won't be in Street's head.
Matthew DeFranks is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.