A Rough First Inning For John Smoltz...Washington 9 Boston 3
35 pitches, nine batters and four runs later, the tortuous first inning was over for John Smoltz and the Boston Red Sox Thursday night in the nation's capital. John Smoltz made his first major league start in more than a year and he was clearly amped up. But fear not. He settled down after that excruciating initial frame and looked like the John Smoltz we're sure to see as this 2009 season progresses. Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell put those same thoughts into words...
“He’s now got 35 innings under his belt,” said pitching coach John Farrell. “You see it with the guys in our rotation now. The power pitchers don’t get their stuff until the fifth, sixth week of the season. Keep in mind, John’s just coming out of spring training, as far as we’re concerned.”
Boston could not make up that four run deficit and the Sox ended up losing the game by a 9-3 score, reducing their AL East lead to four games. Here's what John Smoltz himself said after his five inning outing, a start in which he allowed five runs on seven hits, walking only one and striking out five.
“I can’t be disappointed,” Smoltz said. “I’m very encouraged by how good I can be, and how I felt. I was really disappointed on the bloop hit,” Smoltz said. “Two runs is two runs. You’re going to give up two runs. No matter if I’m 42 or 22, I feel like I can accomplish whatever I want to accomplish this year,” Smoltz said. “That’s why I came back and the rehab went the way it did. Now it’s just a matter of going out there and doing it like I did before.”
I want to stress this...after that first inning, Smoltzie settled down and his command of the strike zone improved significantly. He ended up throwing 92 pitches and from all signs, he'll be ready to go again in five days. I can't wait.
The Sox end their interleague battles, at least until mid to late October, with three games in Atlanta. Here are the upcoming pitching matchups...
6/26 Friday 7:35pm EDT Beckett (8-3) vs. Jurrjens (5-5) NESN
6/27 Sat. 4:10pm EDT Wakefield (9-3) vs. Vazquez (5-6) FOX
6/28 Sun. 1:35pm EDT Penny (6-2) Hanson (3-0) NESN
That's a wrap for this sad Friday morning. I used to be a huge Michael Jackson fan through his late eighties release of the album BAD, but then the tabloid headlines overshadowed his newly released music. Still, he died too young, far too young. Rest in peace, Michael. You will be missed.
Click on this post's title for more Sox news and as always, BE WELL. See ya...soon.