Sep 16, 2015; Baltimore, MD, USA; Boston Red Sox pitcher Henry Owens (60) throws a pitch in the sixth inning against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports
Joe Kelly and Junichi Tazawa can now go into R & R for the rest of a miserable 2015 season. Both patients have what the old timers refer to as “Dead arms,” but the medicos can assign other labels such as tendonitis. Neither pitcher apparently has or should expect any long-term consequences.
The rest of the pitching staff certainly had their positive and negative moments during the week. A 2-0 loss to Baltimore on Monday saw Eduardo Rodriguez record drop to 9-6 despite a 5.1 inning and one run effort in which E-Rod had to extricate himself from several delicate situations. The bullpen gave up another run, but the Red Sox bats were neutered.
The next night the bullpen did a fairly admirable performance limiting the O’s to two runs in 9.2 innings. The parade in that game was eight pitchers before Robbie Ross, who has done rather well, gave up a game winning hit.
Wade Miley was exceptional for five innings in Toronto with no runs and one hit until a walk and a home run gave the Jays a lead. Miley went 6.2 innings, but five walks jump out. Miley has impressed as the season has gone along as he is the inning eater advertised with some reasonable performances. An ideal lower end rotation starter.
Rich Hill had an outstanding follow-up to a surprising outing in his first start since 2009. This time Hill allowed three runs and struck out ten in seven innings against the Blue Jays.
The premier performance was by Henry Owens, who went 7.2 innings allowing, six hits and no runs. The Lanky lefty walked no one and struck out four. The key was less reliance on his pedestrian fastball (47.8%) and greater use of his change, which Owens used 31% of the time. Owens also used his slider and roundhouse curve quite effectively.
Owens effort was his second of note after the disaster that befell him against the Yankees. After that pitching Chernobyl, Owens faced the rock ‘em and sock ‘em Toronto lineup and went 5.1 innings allowing just one run and followed it up with his Strut lock performance.
With Owens it is all about command and his MLB BB/9 is at 3.50 with a very small sample of 43.1 innings. In Pawtucket that BB/9 diminished each month and one would hope that trend will continue in Boston.
For Owens it is a great time to Strut. For Red Sox fans we got a glimpse of just why Owens is considered such a blue chip prospect.
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