Up: Ryan Brasier
If anyone stepped up to help Kelly shoulder the load during his struggles, it was Ryan Brasier. In July, Brasier came seemingly out of nowhere and posted a 0.90 ERA across 10 innings. If you thought he might come back to Earth once there was enough film on him, you thought wrong.
Brasier followed his breakout month with 12 strong innings in August. Last month, Brasier compiled a 1.50 ERA and 12 strikeouts, a significant uptick from the seven Ks he racked up in July. He also collected his first major league win.
Brasier, Kelly, and Kimbrel can’t do it all themselves, but a strong 1-2-3 in the bullpen will make the Red Sox tough to put down in elimination games. Kelly’s resurgence and Brasier continued strong play will mean as much to Boston in the postseason as any other aspect of the team. Bullpens win playoff games, and the Red Sox officially have at least three relievers they can count on to shut opponents down. If Steven Wright stays in the ‘pen, he’ll be the fourth.
Brasier won’t get the publicity he deserves, but he’ll have as large a role as anyone in whatever success the Red Sox end up finding.