The pitching woes continued for the Red Sox today, as Ryan Dempster gave up six runs in five innings, before giving way to three different relievers - only one of whom managed to pitch a clean outing. The worst of the lot was Andrew Miller, who only managed to record a single out while allowing three runs to score.
Jose De La Torre gave up a pair of runs in a single inning, while Clayton Mortensen was slightly better, giving up just one run in 1.2 innings, and only Craig Breslow managed to record a 0.00 ERA for the day while completing a single inning. The bullpen, heralded as a great strength of this team at the outset of the season, has become a liability.
Certainly, a large part of the bullpen's struggle has been injury-related, as the opening day closer is now out for the season, and his replacement is on the disabled list. But the big difference between the Red Sox incredible April and their so-far dismal May has been in the pitching - they managed to score four times today, and the score wasn't even close.
One of the things that we all looked forward to with the hiring of John Farrell was his expertise with the Red Sox pithing staff. He's certainly gotten Clay Buchholz and Jon Lester back on track, but his magic touch seems to be missing when it comes to the rest of the rotation and the bullpen. Pitching coach Juan Nieves has his work cut out for him lately, but if Farrell has faith in him, so do I.