The Boston Red Sox bullpen blew another lead on Tuesday when they had the chance to clinch the division. Is manager Alex Cora to blame?
A chance for the Boston Red Sox to clinch a third consecutive AL East division title slipped away following another bullpen meltdown against the New York Yankees on Tuesday.
This is nothing new for this team. Boston owns the best record in baseball but the rare occasions in which they lose are often blamed on the bullpen. The Red Sox have blown 12 save opportunities since the All-Star break, tied with the lowly Miami Marlins for the most in the majors. They have done so in 24 opportunities for a pitiful 50 percent conversion rate.
We can’t put all the blame on Craig Kimbrel, who has accounted for only three of those blown saves since the break and remains among the game’s elite closers. The rest of the bullpen has all too often failed to bridge the gap between the starter and Kimbrel.
While the front office will be ridiculed for not upgrading this bullpen at the trade deadline, how the available arms are utilized falls on the manager. Alex Cora has done a tremendous job in his first season at the helm of the Red Sox dugout but the one area where his decisions have been questioned is with his bullpen management.