Extra frames, free baseball, extra innings, however you want to call it. It is a truly hard test to overcome. You have to worry about your bullpen, mental errors that can happen due to fatigue/injury, and about missing the one pitch that could end your game, or in this time of the year, your season. So how is it that the Boston Red Sox just don’t lose in extra innings?
This season when the Sox go into extras, they have a 15-3 record (which leads the majors) and their bullpen has a combined ERA of just 1.34 in 52 2/3 innings of extra baseball. With Addison Reed, Fernando Abad, and even Brandon Workman helping out from the pen, while their outfield and positional players are helping them exceed as well.
With great defensive plays from Jackie Bradley Jr., Mookie Betts, and rookie sensation Andrew Benintendi, the team has been shutting opposing offenses down after the 9th inning. The offense isn’t lacking either.
Clutch players produce clutch hits. With the team as a whole putting in their fair share of work at the dish, it really is hard to be an opposing pitcher against these guys in extras. Even recent call ups Sam Travis, Tzu-Wei Lin, and Blake Swihart are having great at bats and getting on base.
While gaining some key players from the DL, David Price, Joe Kelley and JBJ can help the team not only with playoff depth, but the knowledge for any game scenario. While Price will see time as a long reliever in the postseason, he looked great in his first outing. He went two innings, while giving up 0 hits and striking out 2 on 21 pitches. His velocity was hanging around 94 miles per hour.
No matter the scenario, I have complete trust that the Red Sox can win any game in the regular or postseason in extra innings. This gives them a deadly game, and where every game matters, all eyes will be on Boston if the situation occurs during October.
Photo Credits: NYDN