Boston Red Sox Lose After John Farrell Leaves Wright In For Too Long
*Updated: So this piece is a tad ranty, and more opinionated than I would have liked given all the injuries that Farrell has had to deal with so far this season. That being said, he made the wrong move given the situation that was unfolding in front of him. Read the article below if you want to know why that is the case.
Time and time again Boston Red Sox manager John Farrell has illustrated his inability to make in-game decisions in terms of player substitutions. Saturday afternoon’s loss to the Chicago Cubs will go down as just another example of Farrell failing to see what is slapping him right in the face.
On Saturday starter Steven Wright had a solid 6 innings of work giving up three runs with 97 pitches under his belt. Despite what seems like straightforward logic Farrell decided to throw Wright out there to start the seventh inning even though all the signs pointed to getting him out of dodge before it was too late.
Unfortunately for Boston Wright gave up a missile to Miguel Montero on the first pitch of the inning. Following that came an Albert Amora pop-up and a Jon Jay double. At that point, three batters too late, Farrell pulled Wright as he had no one warming up to start the inning knowing his knuckleballer was reaching his limit.
In came Robby Scott who gave up a single to Kyle Schwarber making it a 5-4 game in favor of the Cubs. Then recently called up Ben Taylor came in and walked Kris Bryant before getting Anthony Rizzo to ground into a force play that ended up including the Red Sox having two throwing errors making it a 6-4 game.
But hey it is alright guys none of this is on Farrell, it is on Matt Barnes for getting suspended for four games for throwing at the head of Baltimore Orioles third basemen Manny Machado. Technically the Red Sox are down a man with Barnes suspended, and with no days off till May 8th the Red Sox bullpen is under siege.
Below is what Farrell said about if Barnes was available.
“Yeah, I would have,” said Farrell when asked if he might approach the inning differently if he had Barnes available. “Now, I will say this, with Joe Kelly being down today, we’re in a situation where if Robby Scott starts that inning, we’ve got Baez waiting to hit for Jon Jay and not getting a favorable matchup with the short porch in left here. More than anything, the way he had gone through the lineup just twice up to that point, he was in good shape with Steven going back out for the seventh.”
Farrell is using the schedule that every team has and the Barnes suspension as a crutch to defend his actions that blew up in his face as he stares down the possibility of ending April as a .500 ball club. The team called up Taylor prior to the game as a fresh arm, with the team also being at home for the remainder of the Barnes suspension, they have the luxury of flipping guys back and forth between Boston and Pawtucket (45 minutes away).
Even being down a man in the pen is manageable because of the prior mentioned facts, you have Noe Ramirez, Robbie Ross, and Brandon Workman all sitting down in AAA. There are ways to work around your roster to bring one up at a time and send them packing the next day, sending Wright out there was not Farrell’s only choice, there were other ways to protect his bullpen from overuse. If he thought Wright was near the end of his outing he could have protected himself by having someone warming up to start the inning.
Take ownership of your failures, no wonder Xander Bogaerts blamed their lack of production on the offensive on missing David Ortiz, the kid is learning from the best. Seriously though how has no one asked Xander after a game of offensive production how they are doing it without Ortiz.