Red Sox manager John Farrell, after seeing closer Joel Hanrahan blow a two-run, ninth-inning lead en route to an 8-5 Sox loss to the Orioles, suggested that while the hard-throwing right-hander is amidst a transition to a new league, he is not at risk of giving up his job title.
“He’s obviously our closer,” said Farrell. “I think [he's] coming over and learning this league, understanding that there’s power up and down the lineup, particularly the top half, and this club, they can drive the ball out of the ballpark. I think as Joel is making his way through the American League, particularly the American League East, location is key, particularly in those late-inning moments.”
That was particularly the issue that proved costly for Hanrahan, who gave up a solo homer to Chris Davis to lead off the inning that turned the game to a 5-4 contest, issued a single and two walks to load the bases, uncorked a game-tying wild pitch and then left a meatball over the plate that Manny Machado deposited into the Monster Seats for a game-winning three-run homer.
“Couple of mislocated pitches. He gets a breaking ball up and out over the plate for Davis for a leadoff home run, then looked to me like he was making his way through the inning. Doesn’t get a borderline 3-2 fastball to [Nate] McClouth, and then trying to go down and away to Machado, the ball ran back middle-in and you saw what he did with it. But still, he had very good stuff, looked to be on the verge of closing it out until the base on balls extended the inning and then the three-run homer.”
Hanrahan, who had been seeking his 100th career save, instead ended up giving up five runs in the inning, his most ever in a relief outing.