Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora pulled Tanner Houck in the middle of a potential perfect game. Why would he make that call?
Every game matters right now for the Red Sox, and Cora trusts his bullpen more than Houck the third time through the Nationals batting order.
Not to mention, Houck was due up at the plate due to the fact the Red Sox are playing in Washington — a National League park — to end the season. We can cry about the lack of DH consistency all we want, but for now Cora didn’t want to ask Houck to hit again in a critical situation.
Red Sox: Did Alex Cora have to pull Tanner Houck?
Surely not. Houck was only 55 pitches deep and had yet to allow a baserunner. With the Red Sox only up a run, was there any evidence to suggest the bullpen would be more reliable?
Cora is being extremely careful with Houck, who perhaps lacks the experience to know what true playoff pressure is. But, as we saw through five innings, maybe that’s a good thing?
The advanced stats back up that Houck is far worse against any lineup the third time through. Cora trusts his bullpen. ‘Nough said.
We’ll see if it comes back to haunt Boston.
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