What an awful stretch of play to begin the 2011 season for the Red Sox. They get beat in Texas against a tough lineup and pitching staff, then arrive in Cleveland and drop a few more stink bombs against a future last-place team. The Red Sox looked like they were in a position to remain close on Wednesday night, as Daisuke Matsuzaka settled down and allowed just 3 runs in 5 innings, but Dennys Reyes, El Guapo Jr., decided to destroy any chance they had by hitting 2 batters and walking a 3rd to begin the 6th inning. In a 1-run game, Reyes was straight awful and put the Indians in a position to blow the game open. From that point on, the game unraveled and the Red Sox lost their 5th straight to begin this campaign.
Reyes has appeared in 4 of the 5 games this season for the Sox and has now allowed 3 earned runs on 2 hits, 2 BBs, and 2 HBPs in 1.2 innings. He has collected just 1 K and doesn’t instill any confidence in anyone. I never thought I would say this, but I miss Hideki Okajima. After Wednesday night, Reyes should count his blessings because the stopwatch for his time in Boston has officially begun. The Red Sox cannot afford to sit back and watch Reyes put guys on base in late-game situations. He is certainly not the reason the Red Sox are 0-5 as a team, but he cost the team a chance in game 5, which amplifies the negative attention he gets.
As a pitcher in an MLB bullpen, your main focus needs to be to attack hitters. Almost every successful reliever comes into games firing, looking for outs by pounding the zone and either trying to induce contact or going for the strikeout. Coming in out of the ‘pen and walking batters is a cardinal sin and is one of the most detrimental things you can do. Base runners are the enemy in those situations, so to have such limited control (i.e. Reyes) is a disaster. It’s still early, but Reyes’ days are numbered.
Here’s hoping game 6 is better than 1-5 combined…