Red Sox Strut: Outfielder Jackie Bradley, LHP Drew Pomeranz
By Sean Penney
Only two Red Sox pitchers earned a win last week, one of which went to Chris Sale. The ace of the staff allowed three runs on four hits over 8 1/3 innings. He struck out 10 batters for the second consecutive start and now has double-digit strikeouts in 10 of his 15 starts. The only real concern is that he allowed two home runs, the second time he’s done that this season, after avoiding the long ball in his previous three outings this month.
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Sunday marked the Red Sox debut of Doug Fister, who faced the team that waived him earlier this season. The veteran pitched about as well as we could have hoped for, delivering a quality start by allowing three runs over six innings. A middling performance would have been brilliant if it weren’t for a potential inning-ending double-play being overturned by reply. Instead of escaping the inning unscathed, Fister would end up giving up three runs in the frame.
Another start, another injury concern for David Price. Last time out it was a blister, now it’s a cracked fingernail. It doesn’t appear either will result in the lefty missing time and his performance hasn’t been hindered by these issues. Price took the loss against the Angels on Saturday but allowed only two runs over six innings. His velocity is up to the 95-97 mph range, indicating he’s getting closer to returning to form.
Joe Kelly has officially been moved into the 8th inning setup role. Manager John Farrell remains reluctant to use him on consecutive days, so we haven’t seen the last of Matt Barnes in that role. As long as Kelly is available that day, the task of bridging the gap to the closer belongs to Kelly. The right-hander is in the midst of a dominant stretch. Kelly hasn’t allowed an earned run since April, piling up 19 1/3 scoreless innings over his last 21 appearances. His 1.10 ERA is tied with Craig Kimbrel for the best in the AL among pitchers with at least 20 innings pitched.