ST. PETERSBURG -- If the Red Sox had a perceived weakness going into the postseason, it was their righty setup crew in front of closer Koji Uehara.
But if Junichi Tazawa can pitch like he did in Game 2 -- not to mention the way he did earlier in the season -- that could turn into a strength.
"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."