MLB-Leading Red Sox Carefully Managing Bullpen Down Stretch

red sox manager alex cora

Red Sox manager Alex Cora. (Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

BOSTON (WBZ-AM) -- The Red Sox can clinch their third straight division title with a win over the Yankees this afternoon in the Bronx but, with a comfortable 11-and-a-half-game lead, Boston skipper Alex Cora's already at least somewhat thinking ahead to the postseason in terms of rest and usage.

Consider the way Cora managed the bullpen in Sunday's 4-3 survival of the Mets. The Sox allowed a 3-0 lead slip away in the seventh and, yet, the relievers we saw in the win were Hector Velazquez, Drew Pomeranz, Heath Hembree, Joe Kelly, Brandon Workman, and Steven Wright.

Where were the studs, Alex?

"Kimbrel, Brasier, Poyner, we had like, four or five guys that were down today, part of what we're trying to accomplish," Cora said.

Heck, the knuckleballer Wright pitched a scoreless ninth for his first career save. He told NESN Boston's relief arms are always ready.

"I think that's the great thing about this bullpen," Wright said. "Everybody's comfortable in any situation, no matter who it is, you put 'em in there, we're gonna go in there, we're gonna compete. When the phone rings, everybody's ready to go. It's been a fun ride."

The Sox have the fifth-best team ERA in the majors at 3.64, and they're tied for the fifth-best bullpen ERA. Just a smidge better at 3.52.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030's Adam Kaufman (@AdamMKaufman) reports

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