Tuesday September 18, 2012 | 06:35 AM

After Junichi Tazawa pitched another scoreless inning (2 strikeouts) in relief Monday night, his ERA dropped to 1.43.

In Tim Britton's story today in the Providence Journal, Britton writes, "Tazawa has always possessed a starter's mix, with a fastball, splitter and curveball. What's made him so effective of late has been the increase in velocity on his fastball."

Remember those words: "a starter's mix."

When Tazawa first pitched in professional baseball in the U.S., it was in Portland in 2009. He was a starter and went 9-5 with a 2.57 ERA. He looked like he was on the fast track to the majors, until Tommy John surgery.

That surgery appears to have given his fastball more oomph.

Do the Red Sox mess with a good thing and try him again as a starter? This is not a Daniel Bard scenario. Bard's mechanics were out of whack in the minors until he went to the bullpen. Going back to the rotation seemed to mess Bard up again.

Tazawa could be just what the Red Sox need in the rotation.

Tonight at 7, the Pawtucket Red Sox play for the overall Triple-A championship against the Reno Aces. The game will be on the NBC Sports Network.

Now for the standings: 

Yankees 83-63
Orioles 83-64 (0.5 back)
Rays 78-69 (5.5 back)

A’s 84-62
Orioles 83-64
Angels 80-67 (3 back)
Rays 78-69 (5)
Tigers 77-69 (5.5)

Astros 48-99
Cubs 58-89
Rockies 58-88
Twins 60-87
Indians 61-86
Marlins 65-83
Mets 66-81
RED SOX 67-81
Royals 66-80
Blue Jays 66-79
Seattle 70-78
Padres 71-76




About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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