Buckley: Concerns for Sox heading into postseason

Buckley: Concerns for Sox heading into postseason
September 25, 2013, 1:15 am
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The Red Sox season has been a lot of fun, and they've undoubtedly surprised just about everybody.

But how long can their great play and good fortune last? Can it last throughout the playoffs? Steve Buckley joined Gary Tanguay and Mike Felger to discuss what concerns there are about the team heading into the postseason. Does Buckley have any?

"Yeah a couple of things," he said. "[Jacoby] Ellsbury in center field. Ellsbury was mostly healthy during the regular season and was a much more valuable performer on this team than anybody gives him credit for because he's not demonstrative and doesn't have funny quotes and run around with baggy pants and so forth. A lot of people have kind of tuned him out because they think he's gone. But he's an important guy on this team.
Ellsbury is supposed to play Wednesday for the Sox, and Buckley says "he'll look OK."

What about late-game heroics? Can we expect to see any this postseason after the high number of them we saw in the regular season?

"How do you quantify that?" Buckley asked. "They've obviously got the right mix of guys who are up for that kind of challenge. So in that spirit, they are certainly capable of that. And the postseason is such a beast. This is why you carry that Dave Roberts-type guy, because you don't need a fourth of fifth outfielder who's going to spell you if you give a guy a day off."

And speaking of heroics, Koji Uehara has been nothing short of a superhero for the Sox in the bullpen this season. But that success can't be expected to be mirrored in the postseason.

"Going 0-2 every single batter is harder to do in the postseason, because in the postseason, look at that Detroit lineup for instance," Buckley said.

Felger agrees, saying the Uehara may be asked to do more.

"In the postseason there's a lot more four-out saves, five-out saves, two-inning saves," Felger said. "Again, I've never seen a Red Sox reliever pitch better than this, but it's a lot to ask."