Being a reliever is quite the intense role in baseball. I know one of my co-writers recently posted an inspiring article about reliever, Koji Uehara, but for me, it’s Junichi Tazawa who stands out among the rest. Every time he walks to the mound there is a presence about him that screams, “I’m here to win”. His ERA before Wednesday’s game was 0.93. That was coming from his tenth appearance on the field this season. Although I would like to see him as a starter in the continuing years, I am okay with John Farrell using the dominant reliever wisely. I just hate a stellar performance for only one inning. Junichi Tazawa is one you could watch for hours on end and still stay struck with his talent. It is Andrew Miller we have to be worried about. Andrew Bailey is another reliever we can count on with his star performance in Wednesday night’s game (three consecutive strike-outs) but still, Junichi Tazawa is untouchable.
Despite the Red Sox debacle in 2012, Tazawa was one of the positive developments on the team, in the bullpen.
“He was the best pitcher we had when the season ended,” catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia said. “Taz was blowing people away.”
Although he was reluctant coming back from a torn ligament in his elbow, in 2010, Tazawa proved to himself as well as the other members of his team he was stronger and faster than ever. That was 2011. It is now 2013 and I see another strong starter in the near future, as he continues to progress and perform on the mound. For now, as the Boston Red Sox continue to prove they are the team they once were, I am glad to have at least one inning where I can sit back, and enjoy pure talent as Junichi Tazawa leads the team to victory.