The losses continue to mount for the Boston Red Sox, who suffered a 12-4 bludgeoning at the hands of the Tampa Bay Rays yesterday at Fenway Park. It was just the latest demoralizing defeat in a summer full of them for Boston, who slipped to 62-66 and seven games back in the AL Wild Card race.
The Red Sox responded by making some much-needed changes to their beleaguered bullpen on Monday, designating struggling relievers Austin Davis and Hirokazu Sawamura for assignment. Davis had a 5.47 ERA and a 1.56 WHIP this season, while Sawamura wasn't much better with a 3.73 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
Boston has called up Kaleb Ort and Zack Kelly from Triple-A Worcester to replace the duo. Ort scuffled earlier in the season for the Red Sox with a 9.00 ERA in 15 innings, but he's getting another chance after posting a 2.88 ERA with Worcester. Kelly has never pitched in the majors before, but he also earned a promotion with his 2.72 ERA in Triple-A this year.
Given that Ort is 30 and Kelly is 27, neither are expected to be long-term fixtures with Boston. But the Red Sox had apparently seen enough of Davis and Sawamura, both of whom contributed to a shaky bullpen that has the fourth-highest ERA (4.54) in baseball this year.
It will be hard for Ort and Kelly to add much at this stage of the year, as the damage has already been done. Even if both are lights-out the rest of the way, it won't be enough to salvage Boston's once-promising season.