The Boston Red Sox bullpen has seemingly been a never-ending struggle for the past few years. Chris Martin has helped Boston fans remember what a shutdown reliever looks like after John Schreiber's injury. After signing a two-year 13 million dollar contract with the Red Sox, Martin has been nothing short of sensational. Boston's setup man has executed his job to perfection, helping Kenley Jansen to 16 saves, which is eighth in the MLB.
At the moment, Boston sits inside the top 10 in runs scored per game, averaging 4.9. The flip side to that is the Red Sox have given up the seventh most runs per game in the league at 4.8. Another statistic that shows why Boston sits a game below .500 halfway through the season. One of the main reasons the record is not worse is because of the elite tandem of Chris Martin and Kenley Jansen in closing out games.
Kenley Jansen started off the season not allowing a single run in his first 8 appearances racking up 6 saves. However, in May, he posted an ERA of 6.43 before bringing his season ERA back down to 3.08 after a solid month of June. The best portions of Jansen's season are a direct result of Martin's ability to hold opposing offenses. Martin sits inside the top 10 in the MLB with 13 holds on the year in his 24 appearances.
Chris Martin is putting up elite pitching stats for the Red Sox
Martin has a 1.90 ERA over those 24 appearances, where he has thrown 23-2/3 innings. Not only has Martin's ERA been elite, but his WHIP is one of the best in the MLB for qualified relievers sitting at 0.93. One of Martin's strong suits is the strikeout, with his K/9 sitting at 7.61 in 2023 while his BB/9 is only 0.76. Combining his ability to strikeout hitters with the fact that he does not issue free passes shows why Martin has been so successful this season.
At the halfway point in the MLB season, Martin is the only pitcher on the Boston staff with a sub 2.00 ERA minimum of 10 games pitched. The Red Sox currently hold a record of 40-41 and have lost four straight heading into game three against Miami tonight.
Looking ahead to the trade deadline Chaim Bloom and the Red Sox front office have tough decisions to make. Boston could bolster their rotation by adding another arm or add another bat to improve an offense that has stalled since they exploded for 19 runs in two games in Minnesota.