Red Sox ace Chris Sale surges as the bullpen blows another game late

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox delivers the pitch during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 23: Chris Sale #41 of the Boston Red Sox delivers the pitch during the third inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game One of the 2018 World Series at Fenway Park on October 23, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox had their top ace on the hill and runs on the board. Then Chris Sale exited the game and the bullpen took over.

Another game, another late loss thanks to the bullpen, and another Chris Sale start wasted. The chances were there for the Red Sox to get the victory and put a tally in the win column. Not only did they get plenty of opportunities at the plate but Sale had once again given them everything he had while pitching a damn gem.

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Boston has not shown any urgency with regards to repairing their shaky bullpen, and here’s another example for the argument. Sale goes out and gives 7IP/3H/1R/1BB/10K, just out of this world numbers for a guy with a 2-7 record. The Sox aren’t getting blown out in his starts, if they had scored another run or so in each of them Sale could be close to undefeated.

It really is something wild to watch every time Sale takes the mound. He rarely gets any support from the offense but goes out and throws straight lightning. If he keeps this pace up his record may not be spectacular but he could find himself in the Cy Young conversation anyways.

The bullpen wasn’t entirely a failure as Brandon Workman came in and gave a strong effort in the 8th and Heath Hembree would come in late and give 1.1IP with 3K. It was the two pitchers that Red Sox Nation has been told all spring training and season long that these guys were our “closers.” Matt Barnes gave up two runs in the 9th to give Texas the lead and then Ryan Brasier gave them the knockout blow in the 11th.

Once again the Boston Red Sox are at the whim of a closer by committee and once again it leaves them scratching their heads. Barnes was lights-out when the season began and has seen his reality shatter and has had a  9.82 ERA since the end of May. When he would take the mound he would guarantee outs and now it feels like the exact opposite of that.

"“I think command-wise, he hasn’t been as sharp,” Cora said. “We’ve been trying to give him a breather here and there, but he knows his job. We were in a situation here, three outs away from winning the game, and he didn’t do the job.”"

Brasier has seen the momentum he took into the season just disappear. He came onto the scene last season as an unknown and powered through lineups. Now batters have seen him and his stuff just isn’t as surprising. With Barnes and Brasier both caving last night the Red Sox now have 10 blown saves this season. The difference between being stuck forever in third place and sitting on top of the AL East mountain.

"“Everybody goes through their little ups and downs,” Brasier said. “I think we’re in a little rough patch right now.”"

The offense had their chances don’t get me wrong. Bases were loaded in the bottom of the 10th, Brock Holt had a miscue with the third base coach in the bottom of the 9th and got tossed out at home. There were numerous other base runners throughout the game also. Sale has shown that he can pitch well even without run support but it’s clear that the bullpen can’t handle only having three runs.

This was a day where the Red Sox needed a win more than anything. With everything that happened David Ortiz over the last 36 hours, everyone needed some good out of this game. Instead, the bullpen caved when the game was signed, sealed, and ready to be delivered. We can all say that “they’ll figure it out,” but the sand is slipping through the hourglass more and more each day.

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There is just around a month and a half until the trade deadline on July 31st and Boston needs to make some moves. Chris Sale once again proved that he is one of the best pitchers on the planet and the bullpen proved they’re one of the worst.  If the Sox want to make a charge at October they have to make some changes and make them fast. At the rate this team is heading they’ll be lucky to make it to the Wild Card.