Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here...
highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as
satisfying as a good morning dump.
Two excellent American League teams, clubs that could meet in
October, decided on the day they played one another in the first game of
a four-game series that they were making a change from their closers.
Before the game, Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland decided that Joaquin Benoit would replace the struggling Jose Valverde. Sort of.
“I’m not naming anybody closer,” Leyland said. “I’m just saying that
if Benoit’s available right now, I would probably try to close with him,
if he’s fresh and available.”
And after Andrew Bailey served up a walkoff two-run homer to Jhonny
Peralta to ruin yet another strong starting performance by one of his
teammates — this time John Lackey — Red Sox manager John Farrell said
that he would be making a change.
“Yeah, I think so,” Farrell said. “Whether that’s
backing him out of that [role] to get him some work to get untracked a
little bit more . . . [and to discuss] what the other internal options
are. In fairness to Andrew and others down there late in the game, we’ll
talk about that more internally to make a potential change.”
Globe: Time to make a call on closers
You know what sucked about last night? You knew Bailey was going to cough it up. You knew it. It was just a matter of seeing how he blows is. Double followed by a double? Three singles? A solo shot? A sac fly?
Bailey now has an ERA of 4.03 on the season. In his last six innings pitched, he's allowed nine hits, seven earned runs and six walks.
I would be shocked if an announcement of some sorts was not made today regarding Bailey's status as closer. But who would they plug in? We've been down this road before. Andrew Miller hasn't earned the trust. Uehara needs to be preserved for that key set-up role. Tazawa was mediocre at best when he filled in for both Hanrahan and Bailey.
Cafardo lists Papelbon, Cishek (fun fact: from Falmouth), and free agent Brian Wilson as external possibilites. I think you should keep your eyes on Colorado set-up man Rex Brothers, as well. He's been dying to land a permanent closer's role.
Rest of the links:
Globe: Bailey fails to hold lead, giving Tigers walkoff | Herald: Closer crisis: Andrew Bailey gives one away | Herald: Jonh Lackey still looks good | Herald: Closer titles turns Sox into chew toy | ESPNBoston.com: Farrell suggests change coming at closer | CSNNE.com: Farrell: Time for a change at closer | CSNNE.com: Lackey's strong outing lost amid loss
Closer crisis: Andrew Bailey gives one away