Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 75 recap: Bailey-ired scream

Red Sox Game 75 recap: Bailey-ired scream

Highest WPA: David Ortiz, .245 (2-4, HR)
Lowest WPA: Andrew Bailey, -.799 (2 batters faced, BB, HR, 2 ER, BS, L)

Hoo boy. Even if the Red Sox can hold it together through September and get into the playoffs, I’m not going to get much sleep if they have to face the Tigers. This is the first of Boston’s seven meetings with my preseason favorite for the American League, but if it didn’t bring back shell-shocked flashbacks to last year’s opening series, well, I don’t think we’re on the same wavelength, valued reader.

For those who have successfully repressed memories of 4/8/12, that calamity featured Alfredo Aceves unable to record an out in the 9th (and giving up a game-tying home run), then Mark Melancon serving up a walkoff dinger in the 11th. Tonight ended not with a nail-biting epic of high-leverage baseball, but a resigned sigh of a closer who threw only three strikes that weren’t hit out of the park.

Relievers are notoriously volatile – look no farther than Melancon’s rebound last September and now his dominant first half of 2013 – but even if John Farrell is overreacting to a small sample of struggles by Bailey (and given the ex-closer’s history, questions about his physical health would not be misplaced), the Red Sox should stumble into using a better reliever in the customary (if not always tactically optimal) spot.

I honestly don’t know if Ben Cherington knows that Junichi Tazawa and Koji Uehara are capable of taking over in the ninth. I hope he does, but given how much he’s paid in the past for “proven closers,” I’m scared. If he goes with one of those guys, I would hope to see the Sox move for an additional setup arm, as we’ve seen an overtaxed and ineffective bullpen of late and should know that Alex Wilson, Rubby De La Rosa, Jose De La Torre, and Clay De La Mortensen are not solutions in the 7th and 8th innings.

Failing that… offer a king’s ransom for Addison Reed. See just how far out of favor Tom Wilhelmsen has fallen in Seattle. Pay a reasonable price for Bobby Parnell. If that doesn’t work, can I swallow my convictions and root for a guy I always found too demonstrative in his first run as the Sox, and who has since literally said “Shoot man, Obama wants to take our guns from us and everything?” I have no idea. But if the Sox go for a “proven closer” and his name is Gregg or League, expect a lot more expletive-laden recaps the rest of the season.

I’d probably prefer to wistfully care less about “my” team due to a vocal asshole in a critical role* than suffer implosion after implosion at the hands of overrated pitchers with high totals of a largely meaningless statistic, but right now… just take someone who isn’t on that three-man list, Ben. And the sooner, the better.

* Yes, I’m complaining about a Republican (or worse) athlete on the day a Patriot came under intense suspicion of murder. This isn’t an example of my prioritization of politics over all else (that’d be another blog altogether), but about how little I care about football compared to baseball, if this blog’s offseason format didn’t confirm that.

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  1. June 21, 2013 at 2:34 AM

    I’m going to have nightmares about that fucking curveball.

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