So far this season, the Red Sox Nation holds its colective breath every time Terry Francona goes to the bullpen. It seems that it's never easy; instead it's always an adventure.
To this point, the Mike Remlinger experiment hasn't fared so well. Remlinger's first three appearances in a Red Sox uniform were abysmal: 1 IP, 5 H, 9 R, 6 ER, 4 BB, 1 K. Acquired by the Sox from the Chicago Cubs on Aug. 9, the 39-year-old Plymouth native was unable to record an out in his first two appearances. After recording two quick outs in Tuesday's contest against Detroit, Remlinger gave up two walks and a base hit before yielding a grand slam that brought the Tigers back to within three. After the game his ERA stood at an incomprehensible 54.00 with the Sox. The Cubs seem to have given up on the 14-year veteran for good reason. He may be one cast off the Sox will regret signing. He doesn't seem to be the answer to their problems, and he obviously wasn't the answer in Chicago either.
Aside from Remlinger, the Sox have also acquired Ricky Bottalico, and Matt Perisho since the July 31 trading deadline. The club is so desperate for bullpen help that they're actually considering a call up of recently signed Craig Hansen from Double A Portland. The youngster has only had five appearances with the Sea Dogs but hasn't given up a run. Only time will tell if he can deliver at the big league level this early in his career, but just the fact that the organization is considering such a move indicates just how desperate they are. As the old adage states, beggars can't be choosers. Right now the team is winning despite it's bullpen, simply due to their monumental offensive output. But it will take more than that to win in October.
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