Sox comeback overshadows concern about bullpen

Sox comeback overshadows concern about bullpen
September 6, 2013, 2:00 am
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NEW YORK -- A dramatic ninth-inning comeback to tie the score off Mariano Rivera and a game-winning rally in the top of the 10th led the Red Sox to a rewarding 9-8 victory over the Yankees.
     
Still, even as they celebrated their third straight win and 21st last at-bat victory of the season, the Red Sox know they shouldn't have had to stage that comeback.
     
The Sox had gone into the bottom of the seventh, seemingly comfortably ahehad by five runs. By the time the inning was over, starter Jake Peavy and two relievers had allowed six runs, handing the Yankees the lead and necessitating the late-inning heroics.
     
"It felt like we had the game in hand,'' said John Farrell. "To [the Yankees' credit], they kept chipping away and seemingly, we couldn't
stop their momentum in the seventh inning, particularly with a number of hits where we got ahead 0-and-2 and 1-and-2 and the put-away pitch was elusive.''
     
Farrell had chosen to let Peavy, who was at 104 pitches after six innings, to go back out for the seventh. It was a decision he would later regret and second-guess.
     
Farrell indicated that part of the decision was based on the fact that the Yankees were due to start the seventh with their eighth and ninth hitters.
     
"[Peavy] got a big strikeout of [Ichiro] Suzuki in the fourth inning and then got [Chris] Stewart with an easy fly ball to end the inning,'' said Farrell. "But I felt like where we were, in the bottom of the order, with a five-run lead, he was still in decent shape.
     
"Unfortunately, the two guys get on and then we were bringing in relievers with men on base rather than a clean inning to start. Yeah, it worked against us tonight.''
     
After the walk to Suzuki and a single by Stewart, Farrell went to Matt Thornton, who allowed a single to Brett Gardner and a walk to Derek Jeter, got Robinson Cano to hit into a forceout.
     
Junichi Tazawa then came in and imploded, allowing run-scoring hits to three of the first four batters he faced.
     
"We're going to need him to be as he's been for the majority of the season,'' said Farrell on the significance of Tazawa. "Lately, it's
been hit-and-miss, somewhat. It goes back to the inconsistency of his split[-finger fastball]; that's the one pitch we've got to get right for
him.
     
"I think at times he's overthowing it and the grip becomes a little too tense, where it's not allowing the bottoming-out action. we've got to look at some things and address it...The power is there, the strike-throwing ability is there -- all the things are there...It's a matter of getting a little bit more consistency with one pitch because everything else is still as strong as he's been all year."