Red Sox: Five keys to a successful 2017 MLB postseason
If we had to pinpoint the biggest strength of the 2017 Red Sox it would undoubtedly have to be their bullpen. Spearheaded by the historically great Craig Kimbrel and now with Addison Reed and Carson Smith in tow, the Sox armada of late innings arms has only improved and been restocked as the season’s gone on.
Boston has the second-best bullpen in baseball with a 3.12 ERA that ranks behind only that of Cleveland’s 2.77 ERA. Overall, the back end owns a record of 26-14, have struck out 520 batters in 482 innings, and have held opponents to just a .226 batting average.
While the group has excelled as a collective, Kimbrel has been the headliner among many outstanding performances. In 64 IP this year Kimbrel has posted:
- 120 Ks(!!!!)
- 1.41 ERA
- 323 ERA+(!!!!)
- 1.22 FIP
- 0.672 WHIP
- 16.9 K/9
Bullpens have become a major determinant of success when it comes to the fickle nature of playoff baseball. With that in mind, the Red Sox are poised to come out on top if they find themselves in tight contests through the late innings. Behind an innings 7-9 combination of Smith/Kelly, Reed, and Kimbrel, other teams in October should certainly start to sweat if they find themselves trailing after six innings.