Nothing has gone right for reliever Mark Melancon in his first season in Boston.
In four appearances, he has given up almost as many home runs (five) as outs he’s recorded (six). His ERA is an unsightly 49.50. Brought in for his ability to make batters swing and miss during his time as a Houston Astros closer, he’s not fooling anybody. Only time will tell if Melancon’s demotion to Pawtucket today can turn his season—and possibly his career—around.
Sadly, he is the latest in a line of Red Sox pitchers that stretches back a long time: The Whipping Boy Reliever. Each time said pitcher trots in from the bullpen, Boston fans cover their eyes, as the opposing lineup prepares to feast on meat balls. Having them leave the mound to a chorus of boos from the Fenway crowd isn’t unfortunate, it's expected.
Bob Stanley, who was on the mound for the Sox during the Buckner Play, may have been the first member of this infamous club. But for the purposes of limiting the masochism of this article, we’ll just review the past decade’s worth of inept Boston relievers.
Prepare to cover your eyes—after you read on, of course.