This week we saw the return of an important part of the Red Sox bullpen.
He worked the 2013 World Series games two through four and it led to a postseason wedding and a World Series ring ceremony.
The Spring did not work out the way he had hoped, getting to a slow start due to shoulder strain and having to spend the first few weeks of the regular season on rehab starts to catch back up.
Last Thursday he made his first appearance in relief against the Yankees, putting together a 1-2-3 seventh inning behind Clay Buchholz.
It was exactly how he wanted it to go.
He threw two 86-mph fastballs and an 83-mph slider to Kelly Johnson, inducing a groundout to second. Then he got Yangervis Solarte to fly out to left on a 77-mph change after an 84-mph slider for a called strike. That brought up Dean Anna who wend down on a mix of fastballs and sliders, all in the 80s, ending with an 84-mph slider producing a flyout to center.
Manager John Farrell appreciates having his crafty reliever back.
"Yeah, a clean inning, a quick inning," Farrell said. "The more we get him in the flow of things and appearances, he'll continue to gain arm strength. But as we've seen before, he threw a lot of strikes and multiple types of pitches for strikes."
Breslow agreed, saying, "Mostly developing arm strength."
With the first few weeks seeing some shaky relief efforts coming from the Red Sox bullpen it is good to see the staple pitchers coming back to help get them out of the AL East cellar.
A reliable cog in Boston's bullpen is back.
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