Stop me if you have heard a scenario like this before. The Red Sox relievers are given a chance to pitch in a game in which the Red Sox have built a significant lead only to cause the lead to dwindle away through ineffective pitching. That was the chain of events that occurred during Wednesday night’s game against the Minnesota Twins, but surprisingly, the game still ended in a 7-6 Red Sox victory.
However, the fact the Red Sox still emerged victorious was not through lack of trying to lose the game by the Red Sox bullpen. When the first Red sox relief pitcher, Scott Atchison, entered the game in the sixth inning with one out, the Red Sox were sitting on a fairly comfortable four-run lead.
Admittedly, it was not the easiest set of circumstances under which to pitch for Atchison since the bases were loaded at the time of his entrance. Still, one could reasonably expect him not to give up a hit to the only batter he faced, letting two runs score.
Atchison was subsequently replaced by Justin Thomas, who followed in Atchison’s footsteps, by also not recording an out. In his brief appearance, Thomas allowed a double and a run to score.
Then he was nice enough to hit the next Twins batter to face, loading the bases for his replacement, Matt Albers. Albers kept the poor pitching streak alive by allowing a single and another Twins runner to score.
It was not until Albers induced Sean Burroughs to ground into a double play that the half inning mercifully ended for the Red Sox as they managed to hold onto a slim one-run lead.
Thankfully for their probability of winning the game, the rest of the Red Sox bullpen was able to protect that one-run lead for the last three innings.
Still, allowing so many runs to score in the sixth inning is just one more indication the Red Sox bullpen cannot be trusted, even with big leads.