Home > Game Recaps, MLB > Red Sox Game 95 recap: Wither Junichi Tazawa?

Red Sox Game 95 recap: Wither Junichi Tazawa?

Highest WPA: Dustin Pedroia, .343 (2-4, 2 RBI, 0 LOB)
Lowest WPA: Jacoby Ellsbury, -.115 (0-4, K, 1 LOB)

The Sox got out to an early lead thanks to Brock Holt’s continued solid – albeit popless – hitting. John Lackey was a little less than ace-like today – to be expected against a very good offense like Oakland’s, even if one doesn’t expect Lackey to regress to being awful any moment now – but kept Oakland hitless until the 5th (with a few walks and hit batters). But he kept the damage to a minimum, and  Pedroia took the lead back with a two-run single in the 8th.

That’s when things got a bit weird. It’s been a long time since Andrew Bailey’s been entrusted to guard a lead, but even with yesterday’s miraculous bullpen-saving stint from Steven Wright keeping Junichi Tazawa workless since Tuesday, the Sox went with their deposed closer in a two-run game. Is Taz nursing an injury? Simple “dead arm” period? Or does the team want to see if Bailey is ready to be their closer again because Koji Uehara isn’t a closer even though he’s been forced to close and done okay?

I’m pretty terrified the answer is “if Bailey can’t close again, they feel they have to trade for a closer.” But on the other hand, Ben Cherington finally went out and traded for a non-closing reliever; Matt Thornton should be, at worst, an improvement on the work of Jose De La Torre and Alex Wilson, even if he’s not on Andrew Miller’s level.

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