John Farrell said it a number of times during Boston’s post game press conference Tuesday night and he said it again today; Andrew Bailey is Boston’s closer. In a word, Bailey as been awful in his last three appearances, having given up runs in three of his last four appearances with a whopping 11.25 ERA over those appearances. It wasn’t always this way.
Before this terrible skid Bailey had allowed runs in only three of his first 19 games. It’s the inconsistency that will kill a closer. Tuesday night’s massive letdown after a superb 8-inning by Felix Doubront (0 runs, 0 walks, 3 hits allowed, 6 strike outs) was squandered when Bailey served up a go-fer ball to the very first batter he faced.
“I think over the last four outings, it’s been pretty clear that any time he throws a breaking ball, guys are spitting on it until he has thrown it for a strike,” Farrell told MLB.com’s Ian Browne. “An increase in consistency to his breaking ball will go a long way.”
If Bailey were to continue to falter the Sox may not necessarily have to make a trade deadline move for a closer since they may be able to juggle a solid relief and setup core of Junichi Tazawa, Koji Uehara and Andrew Miller.