Red Sox: Matt Barnes’ rough outing is no cause for concern
Boston Red Sox reliever Matt Barnes had a rough outing in David Price’s return. Should this be of any concern to the state of the bullpen?
On a day that Boston Red Sox fans had long been waiting for almost two full months, David Price finally made his 2017 season debut.
The outing lasted 5 innings. Price allowed three runs on two hits, walking two and striking out four. The damage was done off a three-run homer by Melky Cabrera.
The Sox had preserved the lead until Matt Barnes entered the game. Barnes then gave up the tying run and the go-ahead run, which led to the Red Sox losing 5-4.
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Was Barnes unlucky or is he losing his touch? Let’s recap. Barnes had last given up two runs in a game May 7 when he didn’t even record an out. Before that last appearance he had pitched 8 2/3 innings allowing just one run on two hits while also walking two and striking out 13. He was as close to lights out as one could get.
Every pitcher is going to have a bad outing every now and again, no one is almost perfect unless your name is Craig Kimbrel. His ERA before that game was 1.04. He’s getting the job done. It may have looked bad because it was 27 total pitches in the outing and it was the return of Price. If Barnes had given the lead up in a game started by Eduardo Rodriguez or Drew Pomeranz, I don’t think as people would be talking about it. The fact of the matter is, it was one game, that’s it.
Follow up performance
Barnes’ lone inning Wednesday night was probably one of the quickest he’s had in his career as he threw just eight pitches to get out of the 8th inning. Five of those eight pitches went for strikes. Just like that, poof we’ve almost forgotten about that hiccup performance. The first and third batter only saw one pitch before lining out and grounding out respectively.
In the end I think we need to give Barnes a break. Before that appearance, his ERA in May was 3.38 and that is just slightly higher than his April ERA of 3.27. Furthermore, we also have to remember that he’s counted on for tight situations in important games. No reliever carried more importance going into the season. Barnes was easily the most trusted arm aside from our closer.
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With plenty of season left, we can expect our pen to come and do their job. No team and no one player are perfect. Barnes will continue to be called upon in late innings and often. This was just one bump in the road as he’s clearly rebounded from it and fast.