With the Boston Red Sox blowing their ninth save opportunity of the 2019 season Tuesday night against the Cleveland Indians, it may be time to bring in the pure bread stallion.
Okay, the Boston Red Sox bullpen is not so bad according to the numbers, but they are obviously lacking that go to guy and as a result those grinders in the pen have shared save opportunities collectively and here we are in June with the Sox relievers having no identity.
As a result, they are clearly not going to be the key to a successful year as currently constructed.
As a whole, the group is pretty strong outside of the save opportunities. Here are their numbers individually along with their numbers all together as a bullpen so far in 2019 :
Ryan Braiser: 2-2, 3.97 ERA, 3 saves (1 blown save) with 18 k and 7 walks in 22.66 IP.
Heath Hembree: 1-0, 2.88 ERA, 1 save (1 blown save) with 29 k and 12 walks in 25 IP.
Brandon Workman: 1-1, 2.22 ERA, 1 save (1 blown save) with 35 k and 18 walks in 24.33 IP.
Colten Brewer: 0-2, 5.87 ERA, 0 saves with 22 k and 12 walks in 23 IP.
Matt Barnes: 2-1, 2.08 ERA, 3 saves (3 blown saves) with 39 k and 8 walks in 21.66 IP.
Marcus Walden: 6-0, 2.05 ERA, 0 saves with 34 k and 8 walks in 30.66 IP.
Tyler Thornburg: 0-0, 7.71 ERA, 0 saves with 22 k and 10 walks in18.66 IP.
Total stats for top Boston Red Sox relievers used in 2019:
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With a collective 14-6 record, the Red Sox bullpen has 199 strikeouts, 81 walks and has blown 9 saves in 166 total innings pitched.
It is hard to get past the nine blown saves as a staff. That is just low class, kills confidence, lack of bullpen leadership/no “that’s our guy” type of presence amongst the group. There needs to be someone that has the consistency, the experience, and the confidence to toe the bump for the last three outs and take command the rest of the way.
Two relievers they were hopeful for
Some people think that Matt Barnes should be that guy, but quite frankly, he is much more effective in playing Robin rather than Batman within the roles of that bullpen.
Ryan Braiser has also been a guy considered to be capable to close things out for the Boston Red Sox, but he frightens me at times and leaves me questioning if he is closer quality for an AL East and World Series run or if he is better suited for a 7th/8th inning setup man type of role (especially after Tuesday night’s performance).
Other than Matt Barnes or Braiser, no other guy on the staff really has much closing experience so I wouldn’t consider them as being a solution for the rest of the season at is point in time.
The more I think about a possible answer, the more I get drawn back and I don’t know if it’s the ginger chin flow, the lethal stare down, or the fact that his total numbers over the last three seasons are 108 saves with a 2.52 ERA in 184.33 IP. His 305 total strikeouts show just how dominant a pitcher he can be when he is on.
Why team needs Craig Kimbrel
This shows why Craig Kimbrel is the answer to all of the misery that the Red Sox bullpen has provided for Red Sox fans in 2019. These numbers closing out the last three outs of a game already has yielded remarkable results for the city of Boston with many of the players currently in the Sox bullpen contributing to those results below Kimbrel during his previous tenure, so why not give the man a bid once more?
Please Dave Dombrowski. Red Sox fans are begging you, stop yankin’ our chain and let’s talk turkey already.
Either Sunday or Monday is the day Craig Kimbrel will likely begin to bring in some wealthy attention. They have likely been holding back so they don’t have to sacrifice a draft pick similar to other clubs targeting him, but immediately following MLB Draft Day if the Red Sox are not one of those teams presenting him a juicy offer, I may cause a riot.
Let us gather together to say a quick prayer to the baseball Gods that the Boston Red Sox and their bullpen can figure out a way to win the weekend series vs. the New York Yankees starting tonight, May 31st.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Kimbrel. Amen.