Red Sox: A revisit to the core of the 2004 bullpen

Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park during the first inning of game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 10, 2016; Boston, MA, USA; A general view of Fenway Park during the first inning of game three of the 2016 ALDS playoff baseball game between the Boston Red Sox and the Cleveland Indians. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports /
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In the longevity parade, Alan Embree was near the front line with 16 seasons and 882 game appearances. Embree played for ten different teams in his MLB career and his only ring was with the 2004 Red Sox. Embree was picked up via trade from the San Diego Padres in June of 2002 so he – like Timlin – had a first-hand acquaintance with the disappointment of 2003.

In 2004 Embree appeared in 71 games and tossed 52.1 innings – primarily as a lefty specialist, but the hard-throwing Embree was almost equally effective against right-handed hitters with a fastball in the mid-90s and an impressive slider.

Embree will go down in Red Sox history for recording the final out in the Red Sox 10-3 blowout of the Yankees in game seven of the ALCS. Embree appeared in six games in that series with his only negative contribution allowing, two runs in only 0.1 innings in the 19-8 game three disaster. In the previous series against the Angels Embree was unscathed.

In the World Series Embree tossed in three games allowing no earned runs in 1.2 innings while striking out four. In career postseason competition Embree appeared in 31 games, allowing just four earned runs in 21.2 innings. Embree also never gave up a postseason home run.

In 2005 Embree crashed and burned when in 43 games his earned run average soared to 7.65 resulting in his release. That did not end Embree’s Boston career. In 2010 Embree was invited to spring training and was eventually called up to Boston, but never pitched. The Red Sox once again released Embree, but his contributions to that remarkable season remain.