Memo To Boston Sports Media: Chill Out About Craig Kimbrel

Yesterday, the Red Sox lost yet another heartbreaker after being in it the entire way. This time, it was Koji Uehara and Craig Kimbrel, the two guys that are supposed to be shut-down, back of the bullpen guys, that caught the brunt of the Boston media wrath. Specifically, I’m talking about Felger and Mazz, who really find good ways to just piss me off.

If you want to hang someone out to dry, do yourself a favor and read Jared Carrabis’s articles from yesterday– the Red Sox would be over the .500 mark right now if John Farrell wasn’t managing this team. He made poor decisions on the lineup card, and he’s proven yet again this season that he’s incompetent in these in-game situations. Like Carrabis said, he brought the 40-year-old Uehara in for his 4th game in 5 days. It’s absolutely ridiculous to expect a quick, efficient 8th inning out of the guy, especially when you have other capable relievers at your disposal. And it’s ridiculous to think that you can bring your closer in to record 5 outs with the bases loaded in a tie game with nothing going wrong, especially against a lineup as potent as the Blue Jays have. As a manager, your job is to put these guys in the best position to succeed. How do you expect Uehara to succeed in that scenario? How the hell do you expect Kimbrel to succeed in that scenario? Just how?

Moving back to Felger and Mazz, seriously cry about Kimbrel’s control. Yes, he walks batters more than I’d like to see out of my closer, I’ll cede that. But if I’m not mistaken, they, just like everyone else in the entire city, were pumped when the Sox went out and got Kimbrel, who is a consensus top-3 closer in the game. He’s had at least 40 saves in all but one season (which was last year, when he had 39 for the God-awful Padres), so everyone knows that he’s completely capable. We’re 12 games into the Goddamn season, take a deep breath and relax about Kimbrel, because he’s not the thing that will potentially hold the Red Sox back.

Yes, it remains to be seen how Kimbrel will perform in the entirety of his first year in the American League. But he has yet to blow a save, which is what he’s paid to do. In both games that he’s “lost” there were plenty of instances for the Red Sox to put more runs on the scoreboard, and there were instances of other pitchers underperforming, too. There’s no need to panic when the season is 7% over. If you want to get mad, then get angry at John Farrell, who is an awful manager that doesn’t have a winning season, save the miraculous-but-honestly-flukey 2013 championship year.

 

Cover photo from of Boston Globe.

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