The Red Sox have a problem. They’ve had it all year. The team just can’t win close, low-scoring games. And I think we all know why: John Farrell is a bad manager.
Last night’s loss to Justin Verlander and the Tigers is just another example in a long line of examples of Farrell’s incompetence. Any time the game is boiled down to the chess match of pinch-hitting and bullpen moves, Farrell blows it. Drew Pomeranz pitched a pretty decent game, going six and giving up just two runs. That effort resulted in a loss, thanks in large part to John Farrell.
First, why does he continue to use Clay Buchholz in winnable situations? After watching Buchholz give up three earned runs in an inning of work on Saturday, Farrell said: “Buch did a great job. He did a really good job.” To try to prove his point, he brought “Buch” in last night where he limited his damage to a single run. It was a big run in a close game. Why? Unless there is a six-run difference, winning or losing, Buchholz should never get into the game.
The critical bad decision came with the Sox batting. They loaded the bases with nobody out in the eighth. Farrell opted to pinch hit Bryce Brentz (2-for-13 in his last 7 games) for Travis Shaw (1-for-3 with a double and RBI in the game). Brentz proceeded to strike out on four pitches. After a Leon RBI single, Holt struck out and Betts grounded out to end the threat. Bryce Brentz?
I’m sure there was a time this season where Farrell made a decision that worked…I just can’t think of it.