Dave Dombrowski
Dave Dombrowski deserves blame for failing to address the closer. The Red Sox need a capable closer NOW (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

The Boston Red Sox have not defended their title with the same ferocity that they played with in 2018. There are a few reasons for this. All of which I have already been confirmed right about.

Don’t believe me? Well, watch my Youtube series and you can see for yourself!

Starting Blake Swihart behind the plate was an epic mistake. Eventually rectified by bringing back Sandy Leon, but Rick Porcello and Chris Sale got off to horrific starts that cost the team wins. Boston also flopped a 108 win championship formula by switching Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi in the batting order. Benny started off first innings hitting .081 before eventually switching them back. It was an idiotic formula to begin with. Now the Red Sox have one last problem (first base needs to be upgraded to but that’s not going to happen this year) that hasn’t been fixed yet. The Red Sox bullpen has been a total disaster.

The Red Sox already have 10 blown saves on the year. Let’s say with Craig Kimbrel (or any other capable closer) that number gets dropped down to 2. The Red Sox would be in first place if that were the case. Instead, they are 8 games out of first. There are a lot of bad ideas in baseball. Having a closer by committee on a team that just won a championship with one of the best closers in the business is flat out inexcusable. Analytics will tell you that the 9th inning should be the same as the 7th but it’s not. It takes a special kind of guy to lock down saves.

“Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes, Marcus Walden and Brandon Workman have a combined 2.42 ERA, 0.94 WHIP, and 11.26 K/9 in innings six through eight. (via Barstool) In the ninth inning, they have a combined 4.32 ERA, a 1.32 WHIP, and a 10.80 K/9. The ERA essentially doubles with the same guys.”

The Red Sox don’t have that security blanket in the 9th inning where you felt the game was over if they just got it to Kimbrel. Now more often than not, teams should feel pissed if they don’t comeback against this egregious bullpen.

I want to make this very clear, this is not a knock on ownership. John Henry is a fantastic owner who has shown a willingness to spend above what even big market teams are willing. There’s a reason why Liverpool just won the Champions League too. The bullpen failures fall on Dave Dombrowski. Ryan Brasier, Matt Barnes, Marcus Walden, and Brandon Workman can’t be your answer. The Sox should have worked out a trade for one or two arms in the offseason. Felipe Vazquez, Alex Colome, and Will Smith were and currently are still available just to name a few examples. Instead, the Sox did nothing and convinced themselves that a bunch of journeymen was good enough when it wasn’t.

In the 9th inning of games, the Red Sox have a 6.12 ERA which ranks 28 in baseball. You’re just asking to lose at that point. With a team as talented as this Red Sox team which is probably the best baseball team in my lifetime, the ignorance to refuse to trade or sign a capable closer is flat out unacceptable. The Red Sox need a closer NOW. The longer they wait, the more the Sox flirt with the possibility of actually missing the postseason. A possibilit that wouldn’t have to be mentioned if the Red Sox could just finish games.