Cleveland Indians players celebrate after a win over the Red Sox. (Adam Glanzman/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- Going by the numbers alone, the Red Sox have the fifth-best bullpen in baseball with a 3.32 ERA. Indians have the fourth-worst, with a 4.77 ERA.
But, with Boston and Cleveland on a collision-course for their second postseason meeting in three years, Sox diehards know their 'pen is shaky. Matt Barnes has given up runs in four of his last six appearances. Heath Hembree's allowed five runs his last five innings. Tyler Thornburg's only pitched 16 innings, and permitted eight runs. Drew Pomeranz, No. Joe Kelly, Not since May. Brandon Workman, Maybe.
Unproven rookie Ryan Brasier's the steadiest arm they have, short of All-Star Craig Kimbrel--who's given up runs in five of nine games.
In this series, Indians relievers have allowed one run in five-and-a-third frames, and Sox skipper Alex Cora's been impressed.
"It's hard to match up with them," Cora said. "They're strike throwers with good stuff. Miller looked great, able to expand with that slider. He's looked like he's healthy. We knew coming into the series that's their strength now, compared to early in the season. It's tough to match up."
WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports