The Boston Red Sox have not been good in July. Don’t get me started on how they can’t hit with runners in scoring position! Bases loaded? Forget it. But this blog isn’t about the Red Sox offense. It’s about their closer, Matt Barnes. Let’s face it, Matt Barnes has been a big problem for this Red Sox team. Remember, he signed a two year extension back in July. Since then, it’s been a roller coaster. But not the part where you’re screaming at the top of your lungs. It’s more of the part where you throw up at the end if you have motion sickness. Anyways. let’s look more into the Red Sox problem that is Matt Barnes.
Barnes Numbers Since the Signing of his Extension
Matt Barnes has a 7.84 ERA with five saves, two blown saves and three losses since the Red Sox signed him to a two-year contract extension on July 11.
— Jason Mastrodonato (@JMastrodonato) August 23, 2021
Matt Barnes has a 15.19 ERA (5.1 innings, 9 earned runs) in August. He has three losses and two blown saves.
— Christopher Smith (@SmittyOnMLB) August 23, 2021
Take a look at those numbers. Both tweets paint a pretty ugly and concerning picture. Matt Barnes has been one of the reasons the Red Sox have hit a skid in August. He can’t close games right now. Remember the series finale in Toronto? Sheesh! The bottom line is, he’s trending in the wrong direction. Instead of being the guy we all look forward to coming into the ninth inning, he’s now the guy we all worry about to get three outs. He did it again on Monday against Texas. Granted, he had some bad luck with the grounder up the middle to Bogaerts. But it shouldn’t have gotten to that situation. There needs to be a change with Barnes if he expects to still close games for the last month of the season.
Say Barnes was demoted out of the closer role, who would replace him? Garrett Whitlock? He’d be a logical choice if Cora felt comfortable to use him more. Adam Ottavino? No, because he’s shaky in the set-up role as it is right now. Ryan Brasier? No, because he’ll just be coming back from injury. So you really don’t have a lot of other options.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Barnes has stunk since he signed his extension. Could it be he’s not as focused because he has his money? I’m not going to rule that possibility out. But whatever it is, it needs to stop and pronto. If the Red Sox expect to fight for a wild card spot, they need Matt Barnes to figure it out. Otherwise, the skid will continue.
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-Al Nahigian (@BigAl2793)
(Featured Photo Credit: Boston Globe)