Alex Cora on OMF defends Red Sox bullpen following brutal loss vs. Indians


The Red Sox suffered one of their toughest losses of the season Tuesday night when they led 5-2 going into the ninth inning against the Indians, but the bullpen allowed five runs and they ended up by losing 7-5.

Ryan Brasier and Travis Lakins combined to allow the five runs, as Brasier wasn't able to record an out after coming in for Matt Barnes, who got the final two outs of the eighth.

Appearing on Ordway, Merloni & Fauria Wednesday, manager Alex Cora explained the decision to pull Barnes after the eighth.

“It’s all about usage," he said. "We get a lot of information about these guys and where they are at. We have been using Barnes a lot the last few days. We get a chart before the game and know where they are at, guys we should stay away from and other guys we should use in a certain way. If it was only one out and an easy at bat, well we move on, but there were three hitters there and we felt fine the way Brasier has been throwing the ball lately. He’s been good and it just didn’t work out.”

With the loss of Craig Kimbrel and no true closer, some have felt the Red Sox are an arm short in the bullpen.

Cora disagrees.

“It doesn’t feel that way in the dugout or in the clubhouse. It looks that way probably from the outside," he said. "The luxury that we have is our starters, they go six innings — six or seven. That is the beauty of our guys when they are going right. We mix and match and we have guys that we trust. There are a few guys that have to step up. Heath Hembree has been amazing in May. [Marcus] Walden, obviously, has been consistent.  

"The guy we have to get back on track, although I feel like he was turning a corner, was Brasier. He had a better fastball over the weekend in Houston. The slider was a lot better yesterday, command was off and it didn’t work out. You start recognizing guys that can get lefties out, righties out, slider to curve ball, and then everything revolves around Barnes. I think stuff-wise we’re in a good place. It just didn’t happen yesterday.”