Extra Bases

Help wanted

Red Sox relievers in the last six games they have pitched:

20 innings
31 hits
23 earned runs
7 walks
18 strikeouts

The Red Sox bullpen has fallen to next to last in the AL with a 4.80 ERA and they’ve allowed the most home runs (35). They’re in the middle of the pack in terms of WHIP (1.95) and strikeouts per nine innings (7.39). Opponents have a .761 OPS against them, which is 10th in the league.

Daniel Bard has been terrific. But he is on a pace to appear in 80 games. He pitched in 60 last season in Pawtucket and Boston. If he comes down with some sort of injury, it’s not exactly going to be shocking.

Whether it’s internally or via trade, the Sox need some help and soon. A few ideas:

* Try Michael Bowden (who has been excellent of late for Pawtucket) or Felix Doubront as relievers.

* Make Dustin Richardson the primary lefty instead of Hideki Okajima, whose progressive decline since his first season has really picked up steam this year.

* Robert Manuel can’t be much worse than Ramon Ramirez at this point.

It’s still a little too early to target relievers who could be traded. But obviously that needs to be a possibility as well.

At this point, only Bard and Jonathan Papelbon are trustworthy. The Sox need a few more names on that list.

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