A show of hands of all of you reading this who think the Red Sox can honestly make the playoffs with this bullpen.
I don't see many of them going up. You don't see mine going up either.
The Sox are flushing this season away with one of the worst bullpens in MLB (13th in the AL in ERA) and did it again today, courtesy of Hideki Okajima. He was formerly a quality reliever, but now he just looks like crap. Okajima gave up five straight hits and messed up two bunts as Seattle, one of the worst offensive teams in baseball at 39-60, beat the Red Sox, 4-2.
Okajima's ERA is now at 5.81, and the league batting nearly .350 against him. Appalling.
Daisuke Matsuzaka wasn't terrific, but he allowed just one run in six innings, so he did his job. Daniel Bard was fine, pitching a scoreless seventh. But when he allowed a single to the first hitter in the eighth, Terry Francona had the brilliant idea of bringing in Okajima. (Where was Jonathan Papelbon in all this?)
Seattle won the four game series, 2-2. And they came dangerously close to actually sweeping it.
The pen gave up six runs in the eighth inning in this series, and five in the ninth, to a really lousy team. That is disgraceful.
Once again, Tito has no one to completely trust after Papelbon and Bard. Theo Epstein has some serious work to do this week, with the trade deadline coming up on Saturday at 4 PM. The Sox absolutely need a quality 7th/8th inning pitcher to add to Pap and Bard, as the fear is that they will both be overused as the season gets on. Tito just can't rely on firestarters like Okajima, Ramon Ramirez or Manny Delcarmen. Of course, the price of anyone of quality will be very high, so Theo as to decide to sacrifice some good young talent to add on to this season. He has to decide if it's worth it. Once again, he gets paid to make those decisions, not me.
Another bullpen shitshow costs the Red Sox dearly, and the offense went to sleep after taking a 2-1 lead. They aren't blameless either, as they had opportunities to add on and didn't do it.
Nice way to ruin Jerry Remy's 3000th broadcast on NESN as well.
And now it's on to Anaheim, and the Red Sox now find themselves 8 games behind New York, who won today, and five behind Tampa Bay, who also won.
The ball's in your court, Theo. Save us from this bullpen. Please.