Wednesday October 03, 2012 | 06:08 AM

It has been a small sample size, but Andrew Bailey is not instilling confidence as a Boston Red Sox closer, after his third blown save in nine chances. With a 3-1 lead i the ninth, Bailey gave up a 2-run homer, in an eventual 4-3 loss in 12 innings.

In 15 2/3 innings, Bailey's numbers: 21 H, 12 ER, 8 BB, 14 K, 7.04 ERA.

If there is any consolation, another new reliever for the Red Sox, Mark Melancon has not shined for Boston (6.20), but he is showing he still has it in September (1.08 ERA).

Bailey will likely be the closer at the start of 2013. But if he continues to falter, another pitcher may be ending games. His name is Junichi Tazawa.

In 43 IP, Tazawa's numbers: 37 H, 7 ER, 5 BB, 45 K's, 1.47 ERA.

Exciting times in Oakland as the A's beat Texas 3-1 to tie the Rangers with one game to go. Former Sea Dogs outfielder Brandon Moss, who had the game-winning RBI on Monday, doubled in the fifth and scored the game-winning run on Tuesday.

In another "key" game, the Marlins beat the Mets 4-3 in 11 innings. Miami is tied with Boston for the sixth-worse record (69-92). A Miami win today and Red Sox loss five Boston the No. 6 draft pick next year. (Both Miami and Cleveland have the tiebreaker over the Red Sox if they have the same record).

As you look at the standings below, just think if there was only one wild card team:

Yankees 94-67
Orioles 93-68

Tigers 87-74

Rangers 93-68
A’s 93-68

Orioles 93-68
A’s or Rangers 93-68

1. Astros 55-106
2. Cubs 60-101
3. Rockies 63-98
4. Twins 66-95
Indians 68-93
Marlins 69-92
RED SOX 69-92
Blue Jays 72-89
Royals 72-89
Mets 73-88


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.

Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases

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