Red Sox manager John Farrell received way too much blame on Twitter last night for using Craig Kimbrel in the ninth inning with the Red Sox trailing 3-2 to the Texas Rangers.
The general theme: Doesn’t Farrell know what fans already know? Can someone show him Kimbrel’s stats in non-save situations compared to save situations?
Kimbrel allowed a leadoff walk to Elvis Andrus, then surrendered three straight hits, including a mammoth three-run homer by Robinson Chirinos.
Kimbrel, who was named to the American League All-Star team earlier in the day, failed to record an out and saw his ERA balloon from 2.53 to 3.66.
The Red Sox lost 7-2 to Texas in front of 35,964.
Kimbrel in non-save situations: 6.75 ERA (10 ER, 13.1 IP).
Kimbrel in save situations: 1.45 ERA (3 ER in 18.2 IP).
Don’t blame Farrell for this one. He obviously knew Kimbrel’s splits before sending him to the mound last night.
Farrell said afterward he will rethink his usage of Kimbrel in non-save situations.
But Farrell shouldn’t even be in a position where he has to rethink it. Kimbrel is his best reliever. Farrell can’t use the righty 30-40 times a year only in save chances.
“Go to him because he’s the freshest arm out there,” Farrell said about pitching Kimbrel in the ninth Tuesday.
Yes, the bullpen has been taxed lately because of how poorly the starters have pitched — and Kimbrel must pitch in more than just save situations.
The blame falls squarely on Kimbrel.
He’s earning $11.250 million per year. He’s a five-time All-Star. He throws 99 mph. He should be able to pitch a scoreless inning in a tight game when the Red Sox aren’t leading.
This is getting ridiculous.
Kimbrel doesn’t think Farrell should rethink when to use him in tight, non-save situations.
“No, I still want to be out there,” Kimbrel said. “I haven’t thrown in a few days. And our bullpen’s been taxed. … So that’s a situation I’ve got to get out there and I’ve got to work and keep it close.”
Kimbrel can’t pinpoint a difference between save and non-save situations.
“I wouldn’t say mentally (anything is different),” he said. “I go out there and definitely still trying to throw strikes and get guys out. The only difference is when I do my job or get out of the inning, the game’s not over with. Just a rough day all-around.”
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