ST PETERSBURG, FLORIDA – JUNE 24: Matt Barnes # 32 of the Boston Red Sox reacts after throwing a wild pitch in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on June 24, 2021 in St Petersburg, Florida. The Rays defeated the Red Sox 1-0. (Photo by Julio Aguilar / .)
Should Brian Snitker have taken out Charlie Morton early? by Alicia de Artola
Trea Turner praising Dodgers fans is definitely a slight at the Nats by Amy Kaplan
Right-handed pitcher Garrett Richards is out against the Tampa Bay Rays, resulting in Matt Barnes being a late roster add before the Divisional series game.
As the Red Sox take on the Rays at Tropicana Stadium Friday night, they’ll be doing so without one of their key right-handed pitchers: Garrett Richards.
Richards is out and is listed on IR with a left hamstring strain, which opens the door for Matt Barnes to step up as his primary replacement in the Divisional Series bullpen.
From the Red Sox: RHP Matt Barnes has been added to the Division Series roster because of an injury to RHP Garrett Richards.
Richards has been diagnosed with a left hamstring strain.
– Steve Buckley (@BuckinBoston) October 8, 2021
Red Sox promote Matt Barnes to ALDS starting roster in wake of Garrett Richards injury
In what Red Sox MLB.com reporter Ian Browne described as “a tough snub”, Barnes was initially left off the Divisional Series roster earlier in the week.
Garrett Richards was taken off the roster due to a left hamstring strain. Enter Matt Barnes, a tough snub in the first place.
– Ian Browne (@IanMBrowne) October 8, 2021
As Christopher Smith wrote for MassLive, the All-Star relief pitcher posted a 2.57 ERA and 1.68 FIP in his first 35 outings this season. He struck out 45.4 percent of the batters he faced. But he has a 5.95 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings (25 innings) since July 2.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora explained the initial decision to leave out Barnes, saying that the Red Sox preferred left-handed pitchers over right-handed ones for this game.
“This guy, he’s been here for a while,” Cora said of Barnes. “He’s been here, done that. But the uniqueness of their (the Rays’) roster, we have to make some adjustments. We decided to go with the three lefties. “
The Red Sox are also dealing with an “upper body issue” with third baseman Rafael Devers, whose injury status still remains unclear in the playoffs.
Despite the injuries, both Devers and Barnes look to live up to expectations against the Rays in Tampa Bay.