The Red Sox are right there with the Yankees in the American League East after Boston beat Houston, 6-5, on Sunday night to pull into a virtual tie with New York atop the division.One of the reasons has been the excellent work done by Boston's relief pitching, and that corps
The Red Sox are right there with the Yankees in the American League East after Boston beat Houston, 6-5, on Sunday night to pull into a virtual tie with New York atop the division.
One of the reasons has been the excellent work done by Boston's relief pitching, and that corps put in seven solid days to earn the honor of "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford."
:: Bullpen of the Week winners ::
As part of the MLB Prevailing Moments program, each Monday throughout the 2017 season, MLB.com is honoring the "Bullpen of the Week presented by The Hartford." An industry-wide panel of MLB experts, including legendary stats guru Bill James, constructed a metric based on James' widely renowned game-score formula, to provide a weekly measurement of team-bullpen performance.
Here's how the Bullpen Rating System is compiled for each week. For reference, a weekly score of 100 is considered outstanding:
• Add 1.5 points for each out recorded
• Add 1.5 points for each strikeout
• Add 5 points for a save
• Subtract 2 points for each hit allowed
• Subtract 4 points for each earned run allowed
• Subtract 2 points for each unearned run allowed
• Subtract 1 point for each walk
• Subtract 5 points for a blown save
The Boston bullpen scored a rating of 106.5 points by allowing two earned runs and 17 hits in 25 2/3 innings. Relievers struck out 26 batters against 11 walks, and they earned two saves.
Standout performers for the week included Matt Barnes, who appeared in four games and struck out eight batters in 4 1/3 innings, Robby Scott, who also pitched in four games and didn't allow a run, striking out two over 3 1/3 innings. Fernando Abad struck out three in three scoreless innings in two games.
The unexpected: The Red Sox put their bullpen in a tough spot right away. The first two games of the week went into extra innings, and Wednesday's game followed with starter Christopher Johnson only lasting 2 2/3 innings.
How they prevailed: The Boston relief corps was up to the task despite the overtime hours. Closer Craig Kimbrel did his dominant thing, not giving up a run in four innings in four games. Joe Kelly provided stellar assistance, also appearing in four games and pitching scoreless baseball for 3 2/3 innings with three strikeouts, while the rest of the 'pen chipped in.
The Red Sox relievers combined to finish ahead of the second-place Arizona D-backs, who compiled a 94 rating for the week. Third place belonged to the Los Angeles Angels, who had a rating of 78.
Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @DougMillerMLB.