The Red Sox have the best record in baseball, sitting at 93-43. The next closest team is their division rival Yankees (7.5 GB). While this is all fine and well, it is no secret that the Sox have been struggling as of recent, especially the bullpen. Who can you trust out there when they get the call? My answer is simple, NOBODY. There are only two players you can make a case for at this point of the season, Ryan Brasier and Brandon Workman. Notice how I don't have Craig Kimbrel on there. The guy has been shakier than someone figthing off hypothermia since July 23rd. Every time he toes the rubber it's like riding Tower of Terror, your stomach just drops. His ERA is up to 4.50 with two blown saves in the month of August. He is supposed to be the guy that you know exactly what you're going to get from every time he pitches. It just hasn't been there though, the velocity isn't consistent, the control is terrible, and he grooves too many fastballs. This is just even more of a reason that Dombrowski should've traded for a solid reliever. The guy had two trade deadlines to get it done, and he sat there with his thumb up his butt watching all the other contenders bolster their rosters.
Look at the Sox bullpen as it stands now and tell me you trust any of these bums come the Postseason. I'll list them all with their stats for you to see all in one spot.
Matt Barnes: 56 G, 5-3, 3.51 ERA, 56.1 IP, 89 SO, 29 BB, 1.35 WHIP (Untrustworthy)
Ryan Brasier: 21 G, 1-0, 1.23 ERA, 22 IP, 19 SO, 6 BB, .73 WHIP (Somewhat Trustworthy)
Heath Hembree: 57 G, 4-1, 4.02 ERA, 53.2 IP, 69 SO, 26 BB, 1.42 WHIP (Untrustworthy)
Joe Kelly*: 61 G, 4-1, 3.79 ERA, 57 IP, 57 SO, 27 BB, 1.26 WHIP (Untrustworthy)
Craig Kimbrel*: 53 G, 4-1, 2.55 ERA, 53 IP, 81 SO, 25 BB, 1.04 WHIP, 37 SV, 42 SVO (Untrustworthy)
Drew Pomeranz: Not even listing his stats. Get this bum off my team.
Tyler Thornburg: 22 G, 2-0, 5.31 ERA, 20.1 IP, 19 SO, 8 BB, 1.48 WHIP (Untrustworthy)
Hector Velázquez: 38 G, 7-2, 3.15 ERA, 71.1 IP, 45 SO, 23 BB, 1.47 WHIP (Somewhat Trustworthy)
Brandon Workman: 33 G, 2-0, 2.45 ERA, 33 IP, 30 SO, 10 BB, 1.09 WHIP (Somewhat Trustworthy)
Now if you look at the teams that have made it to the World Series the past few years, they have had a dominant bullpen. The Royals with Davis, Herrera, and Holland. The Indians with Miller, Shaw, and Allen. The Cubs with Chapman, Montgomery, and Edwards Jr. The Dodgers with Jansen. All those teams were solid at the back end of the pen. You just don't see that with the Red Sox in 2018, when they really need it since their starters have all stunk in the Postseason so far in their careers. But no, Dombrowski's answer was trading for Ian Kinsler and Nathan Eovaldi. Not getting that one guy that could've given the bullpen some stability. I'm not overly confident rolling into a series against any of the American League teams that will wind up making the playoffs with the list above. You can't rely on Brasier, Workman, and Velázquez facing a lineup with Encarnacion, Donaldson, Ramirez, and Lindor. That's just asking for trouble. So thanks a lot Dombrowski, you dropped the ball.
*These are two guys I might change my mind on if they finish the year strong.