Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Red Sox and Athletics: Battle of the Bullpens

Quite an epic battle last in night in Oakland as the both the A's and Red Sox bullpens were lights out.


Boston Red Sox
D Matsuzaka1.055520043-2212.79
J Masterson4.020006060-424.50
M Delcarmen1.230013036-240.00
R Ramirez1.100011020-130.00
H Okajima2.000012028-166.75
J Papelbon1.000000016-122.70
J Lopez (L, 0-1)0.211131025-127.36

Oakland Athletics
D Eveland4.2855320108-636.75
A Bailey2.000022034-190.00
S Casilla1.110000019-113.37
R Springer1.010002023-150.00
B Ziegler2.020022039-193.00
S Gallagher (W, 1-0)1.000001010-64.50

Absolutely fantastic. As someone who loves a good pitchers duel, this was about as good as it gets, minus the starting pitchers.

For the Red Sox, this loss is especially costly. Not only did they lose Matsuzaka to a mysterious injury/fatigue, but they burned their bullpen in the process (by necessity) and still lost the game. Even though the bullpen pitched 10 scoreless innings, it was not enough. Damn offense.

Never the less, GM Theo Epstein built one of the deepest and most productive bullpens in baseball this offseason. Tonight's performance simply cements the quality of the Red Sox bullpen. Even though the Red Sox lost the game tonight, this bullpen will win lots of games for them in the coming weeks and months. It's that good.

If the Athletics bullpen performs like this over the long haul, the Athletics will be a force to be reckoned with in the AL West. Count on it.

On a side note, I cannot understand why Terry Francona limited Jonathan Papelbon to only one inning. I understand that the Red Sox want to limit his innings, but Papelbon last pitched on April 11th, only threw 16 pitches tonight, and frankly, the Red Sox needed another inning out of him tonight. The bullpen was running thin; outside of Javier Lopez and Takashi Saito, who is coming off arm surgery, there was no one else out there. If there was ever a time for Papelbon to go two innings, this was the game.

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