A few poor outings for any pitcher usually won’t outweigh the body of his work, but sometimes they do, such as when those outings lose the pitcher his closer job. Ryan Brasier started off the season as hot as any pitcher in the bullpen. He allowed just two earned runs in 12.2 April innings and saved six games. Yet, as soon as May rolled around, Brasier’s performances suddenly lost their quality, and he was quickly removed from his 9th-inning duties.
Brasier tossed 10 innings last month and saw 10 runs (eight earned) cross the plate. While eight of those 10 runs came in just three of his 12 outings, Brasier was far from dominant all around. His K/BB ratio went from 10/2 in April to 8/6 in May. He allowed walks in four of 12 outings, and multiple walks in two of them. He allowed multiple hits in three of his appearances and completely imploded against the Cleveland Indians on May 28. On that day, he failed to record an out but did manage to surrender three runs on two homers and a walk. That night, he picked up his third blown save. Brasier’s ERA for May finished at an ugly 7.20
The Red Sox need Braiser to right the ship. Manager Alex Cora likes to choose his closer based on matchups, and he can’t do that if Brasier can’t be trusted. The 31-year-old righty is ostensibly healthy, which means his issue is likely mechanical. He’ll get it figured out eventually, but should be kept far away from the 9th inning until he does.