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Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Tomase: Barnes wilting from recent overuse and Sox know it

As bad as the Red Sox have been during this 2-10 stretch that has them teetering on the edge of the wild card race, take away three bad outings from their best pitcher, and maybe they’re don’t find themselves in such dire straits.

Of course, they can’t do that, and the three losses in Matt Barnes’ last four outings all count. But as we evaluate the impact of attrition on a bullpen that’s been asked to shoulder a heavy workload, Barnes stands front and center as a big arm that’s wilting from overuse.

Manager Alex Cora admitted as much after the right-hander’s latest implosion, a four-run ninth that was the difference in an 8-4 loss to the Rays on Tuesday. It came on the heels of a decisive three-run homer to former college teammate George Springer in a 9-8 loss to the Blue Jays, which came one day after serving up a walkoff shot to Toronto’s Marcus Semien.

Tomase: Red Sox rapidly approaching point of no return
Two of those games were tied, so there’s no guarantee the Red Sox would’ve won even if Barnes had gone 1-2-3, but there’s little doubt that his regression has helped put the team in the position of trying to prove its first half wasn’t a fluke as it fights for its playoff life.

“Barnesy right now, he’s doing his best,” Cora said. “I should probably take care of him in a sense. It’s not fair, obviously. He wants to do it, he’s willing to do it. But it’s been a grind for him lately.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: August 11, 2021 at 01:53 PM | 13 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: matt barnes, red sox

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: August 11, 2021 at 04:33 PM (#6033889)
He's on pace for a bit over 60 IP. His career ERA+ coming into the season was 112, high of 129 and, even after this bad run, he's still on 132 for the season. Maybe it's due to over-use (3 outings in 4 days qualifies now perhaps) but impossible to distinguish from a solid but unspectacular pitcher returning to earth under normal usage.
   2. John Northey Posted: August 11, 2021 at 06:36 PM (#6033906)
Doing a fast BR check I see in the past 28 days he has been in just 10 games - 8 IP 5 H 8 R 7 ER 2 HR 3 BB 9 SO. However, 5 of those appearances were in the last 7 days - 3 IP 4 H 7 R 7 ER 2 HR 3 BB 6 SO so clearly the past week has been the issue. Before that he wasn't used much (was he hurt?).

As a Jays fan I'm happy to see him used like this, but if I was in his shoes or with the Sox I'd be furious at the manager - 1 game the week before this past one, then he was idiotically used in both games of a double header (guess 1 pitch in game 1 made the manager feel he could get away with it), but using him 3 times in 2 days was pure stupidity imo, again as a Jays fan I was A-OK with it of course.
   3. bfan Posted: August 11, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6033907)
Not brain surgery here. Put him on the injured list and remove the temptation for 10 days.
   4. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: August 11, 2021 at 07:19 PM (#6033917)
He's on pace for a bit over 60 IP.


Goose Gossage calls out all relief wimps and says he did more than that 12 times in his career!

Look people, the Red Sox are basically a .500 team who managed to go all Rays, play well enough and rode a good bull pen for 2/3rds of a season. However that darn regression to the mean monster will rear it's head eventually.
   5. Srul Itza Posted: August 11, 2021 at 10:04 PM (#6033959)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Lightning
Tampa Bay Rays


Must be something in the water.
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 12, 2021 at 07:50 AM (#6033991)
As a Red Sox fan, I'm basically with Hugh in post #4.This was a team built to be about a .500 team by acquiring a number of short-term, short-money veterans who could provide average performance where there were otherwise huge holes, and buy time for Chaim Bloom to rebuild the farm system, evaluate players, and reset the spending levels to get under the luxury tax penalties. I think Bloom probably also suspected he could flip some of those short-term veterans at the deadline for more farm system depth (like he did in 2020).

However, most of those veterans played at the top of their range, and when combined with Devers and Bogaerts, they got to July with the best record in the league. But Bloom knows better than anyone that the regression to the mean was already underway before the deadline, and he wasn't going to trade the few blue-chip prospects they have for rentals on a team that is simply not a 93-win team.

The bullpen has bailed out a starting rotation that has been remarkably durable...but also remarkable in how infrequently it's been able to go 6+ innings in a game. Those relievers have been asked to do a lot, and it is showing: Ottavino, Barnes, Taylor, Sawamura. They have all faltered at times over the past few weeks.

The regression to the mean monster is rearing its head, and I just hope (and expect) that Bloom will not deviate from the big-picture plan he was hired to do, and has thus far done well.
   7. Rally Posted: August 12, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6034005)
then he was idiotically used in both games of a double header (guess 1 pitch in game 1 made the manager feel he could get away with it)


I can’t call that idiotic. If we decide that a guy who threw one pitch has been worked so hard he needs the rest of the day off then we’re going to need football sized rosters. Besides the starting lineup and 3 bench guys, all the rest will be pitchers.
   8. Nasty Nate Posted: August 12, 2021 at 09:21 AM (#6034011)
a team that is simply not a 93-win team.
too soon to tell
   9. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: August 12, 2021 at 09:28 AM (#6034015)
In 2019 at this stage he had pitch 44.1 innings in 49 games and had a stretch of three straight games allowing a run. He got a few days off then had a 1.80 ERA the rest of the season. A little rest would be helpful and the good news is the Sox have some off days coming up (Monday, Thursday) which could help.
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 12, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6034073)
The team is 66-50, and has 46 games to go.

To win 93 games, they'll have to go 27-19 the rest of the way. That's a .587 clip, which is a 95-96 win pace from here on in.

After today, the team has a stretch where 9 of their next 12 games are at home: 3 games each against MIN, TEX, and BAL.

If they want to go 27-19 the rest of the way, they are going to have to make hay with those nine games, because they also have eight more against Tampa, three at the White Sox, three at Seattle, six against the Yankees, and two against the Mets.
   11. villageidiom Posted: August 12, 2021 at 01:52 PM (#6034088)
If they want to go 27-19 the rest of the way, they are going to have to make hay with those nine games, because they also have eight more against Tampa, three at the White Sox, three at Seattle, six against the Yankees, and two against the Mets.
I'm not saying they will do it, but an 8-1 record in the 9 home games against those 3 teams isn't out of the question. That leaves 19-18 for the remainder of their schedule. They are 19-13 against those teams so far this season, so 19-18 isn't out of the question, either.

All of that depends on them playing like they have in general this year, instead of how they've played in the last few weeks. But that's the big question, ain't it?
   12. Nasty Nate Posted: August 12, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6034093)
If they want to go 27-19 the rest of the way, they are going to have to make hay with those nine games, because they also have eight more against Tampa, three at the White Sox, three at Seattle, six against the Yankees, and two against the Mets.
No, they can go 0-9 in those nine games and still go 27-19 the rest of the way. I'm sorry for being slightly obnoxious, but baseball seasons happen in strange little chunks and something bad like being swept in the upcoming Orioles series doesn't doom them. And so far in the season, the Sox happen to have a better record against NY-NY-SEA-CHW than they do against BAL-TEX-MIN.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: August 12, 2021 at 06:12 PM (#6034166)
I can’t call that idiotic.

I suppose I wouldn't either but "unwise" seems fair. It's hardly Herculean but it's more than one pitch. It's his stretching routine, the warmup and whatever fad he follows for getting himself psyched up. The whole point of the modern reliever is he goes all out for his inning and it's widely accepted among teams that you avoid asking them to do it two days in a row whenevver you can and almost never ask for 3 days in a row so twice in one day definitely runs counter to accepted practice. (I had not noticed the DH usage.)

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