Ryan Brasier has dusted himself off after a down year in 2019 and has continued to regain his confidence, even though some early-season appearances didn’t go his way either.
The Red Sox right-hander was arguably the most impressive relief pitcher for Boston in a game the club used three of them. Brasier, along with Phillips Valdez and Darwinzon Hernandez, combined for just three hits in four-plus innings of work as Boston claimed a 9-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday.
Red Sox manager Ron Roenicke, while happy to see the entire trio deliver when Boston needed it, was especially excited to see what Brasier brought — and it was impressive stuff.
?I just think he, for one, he?s got a lot of confidence going right now,” Roenicke told reporters postgame. “I know last year that was a big part of him and his success was the confidence wasn?t there like it was the year before. And he had some good outings last year, but he just wasn?t as consistent like we had seen his first year.
“Hopefully with this confidence, hopefully with the command getting back to where we know it should be, hopefully over the next month, we?ll see that guy that we saw a couple years ago.?
Brasier finished Tuesday throwing 14 pitches (10 strikes) during the eighth inning, where he tallied one strikeout. Brasier hasn’t allowed a run in each of his last five relief appearances.
Here’s some more notes from Tuesday’s game:
— Part of the reason the bullpen was so crucial in the win was because of the poor start by Kyle Hart, who allowed six runs on eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. It was the second consecutive game where Hart allowed a Red Sox opponent to take an early, first-inning lead.
Roenicke offered what he believed was the reason behind the growing theme.
?I think it?s settling in to the big-league atmosphere with wanting to stay here, wanting to be in the rotation, you put pressure on yourself and the ball doesn?t come out of your hand as well,” Roenicke said. “Once he gets through that, the velocity increases, he starts making better pitches, but we know we can?t have those first innings. He?s got to get over that and be able to throw up a zero (in that first inning).?
— Mitch Moreland continued to stay hot at the plate with two hits, two RBIs and two runs scored.
?I?m just trying to go up there and slow it down enough so I keep it one at-bat at a time, one pitch at a time no matter what the situation is,” Moreland said. “I feel like I?ve been able to do that more times than not here lately. Just try to make the most of each at-bat.?
Moreland now has recorded multiple hits in four of his last five games, and possessed a .340 batting average heading into Tuesday.
— Xander Bogaerts recorded his third three-hit game of the season while Alex Verdugo extended his 14-game hit streak with a pair of hits as well.
— Chris Mazza will start for the Red Sox on Thursday, in the final game of the three-game series with Toronto.
Boston, though, will return to the diamond Wednesday for Game 2 vs. the Blue Jays.