"I think he's throwing the ball well," manager John Farrell said. "And I think in those one-inning stints, whether it's coming in to complete an inning or take a clean inning and complete it, right now that's where he's best."
Tazawa had an ERA of 3.29 or lower in every month but September, when he gave up six runs over 8 1/3 innings.
"You know, whether it's Taz, whether it's [lefty Craig Breslow], the fact they come in and throw quality stuff and throw strikes, that's the biggest thing," said Farrell. "We don't really fear that they're going to compound the inning with erratic command, and he's done that all year. He's a good strike thrower."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.