ST. LOUIS — The Red Sox have a problem in their bullpen. They may not have a lefty they can trust at the moment.
Craig Breslow, so good in the Division Series and ALCS, is in a slump. Here’s his line in three World Series appearances: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 3 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 0 K, 1 HBP. Breslow has faced seven batters in the Series and six of them have reached base.
Of his 26 pitches, only 11 have been strikes. Breslow looks like a guy who needs a few days off.
Franklin Morales has not pitched since Oct. 19 in Game 6 of the ALCS. He faced two batters, put both of them on base and hasn’t been seen since. Putting him in a high-leverage situation at this point would be inviting disaster.
The Red Sox have converted starter Felix Doubront in the bullpen, but he has pitched the last two nights and thrown 57 pitches over 4.2 innings. Doubront should be ready for Game 6.
The Cardinals have some dangerous lefty hitters in Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams and to a lesser extent, John Jay. Adams in particular is susceptible to lefthanded pitching.
Switch hitter Carlos Beltran has been productive against lefties this season (a .729 OPS as opposed to an .871 against righthanders), a change from his career marks.
The Red Sox trust Junichi Tazawa against lefties. But going into tonight’s Game 5, manager John Farrell needs Jon Lester to work deep into the game and make piecing the puzzle together easier. The options at this point are dwindling.