After a strange last outing in which he blew the save and then was credited with the win (sometimes baseball rules are weird), Andrew Bailey looked to redeem himself this evening. He came on with a one-run lead, and promptly allowed a walk off homer to Jhonny Peralta. John Lackey pitched very well - much like Felix Doubront did on Tuesday - but could not claim the win because Bailey couldn't lock it down.
So now what? The Red Sox started the season with a surplus of closing options, but now Joel Hanrahan has had season-ending surgery and Andrew Bailey has blown two saves in a row. Any baseball fan around my age or older remembers what a catastrophic failure the "closer by committee" experiment was, but there is no obvious Plan C if Bailey's troubles can't be straightened out.
Junichi Tazawa has a few saves to his credit this season, but in my opinion there's more value in his current role, able to go out and pitch multiple innings on a pretty regular basis. Koji Uehara is always fun to watch, and he clearly thrives on the adrenaline rush of a successful single inning, displaying what could be defined as the "closer's mentality, but you have to be concerned by Uehara's age: the 38-year-old righty can't pitch multiple days in a row.
The Red Sox bullpen has some pretty intriguing and successful arms, but they all work so well where they are - aside from the recent spate of blown saves, the 'pen has been a clear strength this season. There's talk about looking to trade for a closer, and if/when Will Middlebrooks gets his bat up to speed, Stephen Drew could be interesting trade bait. One thing is certain: if Andrew Bailey can't get his act together, he can't be the Red Sox closer much longer.