From Exciting Young Starter To Closer

Tanner Houck has successfully closed the last four save opportunities for the Red Sox.

Not the role Red Sox fans expected to see the young pitcher in at this point in the season, and it didn't start that way. 

Houck came into the season as the Red Sox number three starting pitcher in the rotation. He started four games in April before the team headed to Toronto. In those four starts, Houck posted a 2.87 ERA and a 13:7 K/BB in 15.2 innings. 

Houck did not make the trip to Toronto for the April 25-27 series, as a result of his unvaccinated status. This forced Alex Cora to shuffle up his rotation around the situation, and Houck has been turned into more of a long reliever since then. 

However, Houck has stepped up in a big way for his team recently. Since June 10, Houck has appeared in five games and has successfully closed out all five for the Red Sox, posting a 2.45 ERA and striking out five in 3.2 innings. The Red Sox have been lacking a consistent closer all year, and for now it looks like Tanner Houck is the man for the job. 

Boston heads to Toronto next week, and as the twenty-five year old is still not vaccinated he will not be making the trip with the team. There's a good chance the Red Sox see the Blue Jays on the road in the playoffs this year, and if not, there will definitely be crucial a series in Toronto late in the season for the Red Sox. Unless things change, Houck will not be there with his team for those games.

Obviously, the choice to make his own health decisions is completely his own, and the Red Sox respect that, but Boston fans can't help but be disappointed about the whole situation. 

 Photo Credit:  Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports