Saturday, November 2, 2013

Unknown Heroes Pt. 37: Mike Timlin

Mike Timlin was already 37 years old by the time he first pitched for the Red Sox.  He had already pitched for 12 years in the Major Leagues for a number of teams and had postseason experience with the Blue Jays and Mariners.  He was a veteran presence brought in to solidify the Red Sox bullpen in 2003, the season Boston went with the closer-by-committee experiment.

In 2003, Timlin was 6-4 with a 3.55 ERA in 72 games.  He finished 13 with two saves while striking out 65 in 83.2 innings.  He was terrific in the postseason, pitching in eight games, giving up just one hit and no runs.  He was not quite as good in 2004, but still finished the season at 5-4 with a 4.13 ERA and 56 strikeouts in 76.1 innings.  He struggled a little in the postseason but did not figure into any decisions.

2005 was Timlin's greatest season with the Red Sox.  He spent some time as the closer due to the injury to Keith Foulke.  Timlin lead the league in games (81) and had a record of 7-3 with a 2.24 ERA and saved 13 games.  In 2006, Timlin was 6-6 with a 4.36 ERA and saved nine games.  He improved a bit in 2007 and was once again the top setup man for the team, going 2-1 with a 3.42 ERA, though the team was using him less and less.

2008 was Timlin's final season in the Major Leagues, at the age of 42.  He struggled quite a bit, going 4-4 with a 5.66 ERA.  His last appearance was forgettable as he took the loss in Game 2 of the ALCS.

Timlin was a very important part of the Red Sox bullpen for six seasons.  His Red Sox career ended with a 30-22 record with a 3.76 ERA and 27 saves.  

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