Red Sox Notebook: Bullpen Issues Heading Into Final Games

Red Sox Notebook: Bullpen Issues Heading Into Final Games

by September 22, 2018 0 comments

The Red Sox are rounding out a historic season. Chasing the franchise record for most wins in a single season and clinching the American League East for the third straight year, is there really anything Sox fans should be worried about heading into the playoffs? The answer is always yes.

Any baseball fan can testify that the playoffs are a whole different ball game. The biggest concern for Boston this season is an unreliable bullpen.

Boston’s starters, particularly Chris Sale and David Price, proved their ability to perform well on the mound. Closer Craig Kimbrel has been primarily successful in the ninth inning. Can a team be successful in the postseason without a trustworthy arm in the 7th-8th innings?

The issue here isn’t lack of talent, it is the inability to execute under pressure. In recent games, the bullpen failed in the later innings. In total, the bullpen blew 12 saves during the second half, tied with the Marlins for the most in the majors. 5 of these blown saves occurred in September. Who, then, are the most reliable relievers? Alex Cora has eight games to figure that out.

“When we can get everybody healthy, we should be fine,” Cora said. “As you guys know, [Matt] Barnes is a big part of what we’re trying to do in the bullpen. That’s a guy we’ve relied on the whole season. And when he comes back we know we’ve got Craig [Kimbrel]. We’ve got Barnesy. We’ve got Ryan [Brasier] and we’ll go from there.”

Barnes struggles with hip inflammation and has historically underperformed later in the season. Brasier blew saves against the Yankees and the Astros. Still, these two players seem to be the best options.

Unfortunately, the bullpen can’t be fixed between now and the postseason. The pressure is on Cora to put his players in a position to be successful. If nothing changes, the bullpen could be the downfall of this team come October.

Fans Find Title Banner 

Red Sox fans Louie Iacuzzi, James Amaral and Randy Baldasarri were headed out for coffee when they came across a brown paper package on the highway. To their surprise, the package contained the Red Sox’ 2018 AL East title banner, which was likely in transit to Fenway Park.

According to a Red Sox spokesperson, the banner simply fell off the vendor’s delivery truck. The men said they would like to return the banner to the Red Sox, but not without compensation for their findings.

The duo eventually returned the banner but received nothing in return.

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