Another week of Craig Kimbrel doing Craig Kimbrel things. All he did this week was toss three scoreless innings without allowing a base runner, while striking out seven batters. He earned his fifth win of the season in the game against St. Louis last week that ended on the Betts walk-off. Two nights later he notched his 29th save against the Yankees. Kimbrel owns a 2.9 WAR this season, which trails only 11 pitchers in the league. Not closers, not relievers – pitchers. Every pitcher ahead of him is a starter who has logged about two or three times the number of innings that Kimbrel has.
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Among Red Sox relievers who aren’t named Kimbrel, nobody has been better than Brandon Workman since he rejoined the team in mid-July. The right-hander owns a 1.40 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 25 2/3 innings this season. He can thrive in any role out of the bullpen in any inning he’s called upon, while even proving capable of lasting multiple innings when necessary. The Red Sox kicked the tires on a number of relievers before the trade deadline, yet Workman is an internal option giving the bullpen as much of a boost as any pitcher available could have.
As for relievers the Red Sox did trade for, Addison Reed is finally starting to settle in with his new team. He threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings of relief last week, allowing only one hit and one walk along the way, while striking out five. A couple more weeks like that and his ERA during his time in Boston may drop from “abysmal” to “not too shabby.”
Drew Pomeranz was well on his way toward strutting his stuff last week until back spasms forced him out of his last start in the fourth inning. Prior to his early exit, the lefty had gone 3 1/3 scoreless innings. Boston would go on to win the game, despite the bullpen nearly blowing it, but Pomeranz wouldn’t stick around long enough to get credit for it. The good news is that he remains optimistic about his chances to make his next start on Wednesday.