The Boston Red Sox held a 3-2 lead over the Detroit Tigers coming into the bottom of the ninth. That’s when Boston closer Andrew Bailey came to the mound, allowed a five-pitch walk to Victor Martinez and then, with a 1-2 count on Jhonny Peralta, allowed a walk-off two-run home run.
In Bailey’s last five appearances dating back to June 10, he has blown three saves and took his first loss of the season on Thursday night. Over those five appearances, he’s allowed seven runs, eight hits, five walks and four home runs. Considering that three out of his four total blown saves on the year have come over this stretch, and it’s easy to see he’s been ailing as of late.
In one of the games that Bailey actually got a save, on June 15 against the Baltimore Orioles, he was in a jam after allowing two runs, but was bailed out on a boneheaded play on the basepaths by Alexi Casilla. So even when the result wasn’t bad with Bailey on the hill, he was still bad.
Bailey’s recent struggles make it not a surprise at all that he will no longer be the closer for Boston going forward, according to Red Sox beat writer Evan Drellich, who later tweeted that manager John Farrell said they would look internally for a solution at closer.
The Red Sox have looked like one of the best teams in MLB this season, but have been inconsistent as of late. Their recent issues can largely be attributed to Bailey’s struggles on the mound, though. If they can get a more reliable arm in there to close games or can figure out and fix what’s wrong with Bailey, they will be better off going forward.