Sometimes, a team can’t count on a complete and well-rounded effort to get the job done.
This looks like it will end up being the case for the Boston Red Sox this season. Sure, they have some serious strengths in their starting lineup and even their starting pitching rotation looks strong, but the bullpen problem still lingers.
How bad? (one might ask). Well, they have a team 4.35 bullpen ERA this month. So yeah, that’s not the worst in the league but hey, this will likely end up being the best Red Sox team in franchise history in terms of regular season record, so one would probably expect shutdown level stuff.
Here is the challenge: who is the name people feel supremely confident in bringing them in during the late innings. Statistically, Ryan Brasier was having the best year of any Red Sox reliever in the second half and yet, he gave up a three run bomb against the Yankees on Tuesday night.
Craig Kimbrel has been shaky in the second half at times. And there’s a lot of other problems with the rest of the guys as well.
Luckily, the rest of the team has picked up a lot of the slack. David Price had an ERA under 2.00 in the second half going into Wednesday night’s game. Chris Sale had a 1.92 ERA through 25 starts. Eduardo Rodriguez’ 3.53 ERA through 22 starts and 133 strikeouts in 119.2 innings was also a plus. Not to mention the Red Sox have arguably the best offense in baseball with a pair of MVP candidates (JD Martinez and Mookie Betts).
Regardless, the Red Sox will finish the season with the best record in the game, so that has to count for something. We just wish they got a nice lefty reliever at the deadline. Maybe the Sox could apologize to the fans for not getting one...