Red Sox finally DFA Jeurys Familia after disastrous outing vs Yankees
My fellow Fenway Faithful, our long national nightmare is over.
The Boston Red Sox have designated Jeurys Familia for assignment.
Infielder Yu Chang, whom the Sox claimed off waivers from the Tampa Bay Rays this week, will take Familia’s roster spot.
Of course, it took Familia imploding against the Yankees in extra innings – the Everest of pain for the Sox – for the roster move to finally happen immediately following Tuesday’s loss. A game in which Triston Casas blasted his first Fenway home run, Xander Bogaerts maneuvered the first Pesky Pole homer of his 10-year career, and Reese McGuire hit his first round-tripper with the Sox, should be a winnable game. It was a winnable game.
After an uncharacteristic blown save by Garrett Whitlock, the game went into extra innings, and Familia took the mound in the top of the 10th. In one frame, he surrendered as many runs as Nick Pivetta did in the first 5 1/3 of the night. With Isiah Kiner-Falefa as the ghost runner on second, Familia issued a leadoff walk to Aaron Hicks. When former Sox utilityman Marwin Gonzalez came up to bat, Bogaerts bailed Familia out with a miraculous double play. Intentionally walking Aaron Judge was the obvious move; he’d already homered twice in the contest. But then Familia also walked Giancarlo Stanton to load the bases. And then he gave up a bases-clearing double to Gleyber Torres, putting the Yankees ahead 7-4. Only then did he get Josh Donaldson to line out to Tommy Pham.
In the bottom of the tenth, the Sox tortured fans by making it close. When Rafael Devers struck out to end it, the final tally on the Monster’s iconic scoreboard read 7-6. Predictable, but still painful.
Most people who’ve tuned into Red Sox games in the second half of the season have long accepted that the season is over. They didn’t need to be mathematically eliminated for the world to see that they were on a road to nowhere. But did that mean that for the remainder of the season, fans should have to endure horrible play when there are options in Triple-A who might provide respite? With Familia finally gone, Frank German should get a look. Perhaps Kiké Hernández would like to pitch. Maybe a fan in the stands. They could ask the man who walks up and down Jersey Street every game day wearing a giant posterboard around his neck that reads ‘JESUS SAVES’ while depicting sinners being swallowed by the flames of hell.
Was there no one else?
Familia is gone, but it’s beyond fair to question his presence in the first place. Chaim Bloom put him on the roster; Alex Cora put him into this game. Why not Matt Strahm, or Zack Kelly? Kelly is an unproven rookie, but no better time to test him against the Yankees than in a season that’s already long lost.
The Sox won’t play in any postseason games this year (thank heavens), but it’s always nice to beat the Yankees. What’s worse, without Familia, they would have.