The Usually Punchless Royals Beat Up On Boston At Fenway Park By A Score Of 8-6
This one should have been easy. The Boston Red Sox jumped out to a 4-0 lead over the usually lumberless KC Royals but they could not hold the lead and ended up on the short end of an 8-6 tilt. Starter Brad Penny labored, throwing 97 pitches in only five innings while giving up three runs. With the score 5-3 Good Guys, the Sox bullpen took over in the sixth and Manny Delcarmen surrendered two more runs and, with the "help" of Justin Masterson, the score was 7-5 by the time Ramon Ramirez came in to pitch the seventh and two thirds of the eighth. He ALSO allowed a runner to touch the plate. Daniel Bard, throwing nasty strikes, finished the game untouched but the damage was done and the lead proved to be insurmountable. On the brighter side, Pedey Pedroia, who MIGHT miss the All Star game to be with his wife in her final months of a difficult pregnancy, had another three hit game and Kevin Youkilis smacked the ball solidly, good signs that he is emerging from his mini-funk. But the bullpen, who did not lose a single game between May 29th all the way to June 30th, has lost four of the last nine contests. The All Star break will do them a world of good. Jonathon Papelbon is the only member of the Boston 'pen that will be going to the game and that's just fine with me. Brad Penny had a few thoughts after his pitch-laden performance...
“My job as a starter is to go more than five innings,” said Penny, who allowed the Royals back into the game by surrendering three runs in the fourth. “We have a great bullpen. Nine times out of 10, it’s going to work out.”
Well, it didn't. Red Sox skipper Tito Francona talked about his usually reliable relief squad after the game...
“We go to Masterson and he made a real good pitch on Freel that falls,’’ said the manager. “That to me is a big pitch. He hit it in no man’s land. And then they get a homer. Let’s talk about the bullpen tonight,’ he said. “Our bullpen gave up some runs. When you look for four innings of relief, that can happen. I thought Bard was tremendous [three strikeouts in 1 1/3 innings]. Ramon Ramirez threw a lot of pitches. We’re trying to stay away from Paps until we feel like we’re going to get back into the game.’’
Sure, Tito, anything can and WILL happen in this fickle game we all know as baseball, the game we love. But there's always a tomorrow, at least in the middle of July. Tonight, shortly after 7pm EDT at that gem we call Fenway Park, it will be Brian Bannister facing Jon Lester. Lester, Smoltz and Beckett will be starting the last three games with the crowned ones before the All Star break...it doesn't get much better than that. One of these nights, Smoltzie is going to put it all together and throw a wonderful seven innings. I know, I can see it in my head (among too many other things). Until then, I'm happy you were able to pop in and I want to remind you to simply click on the title of this very post for more Red Sox comings and goings.
As always, BE WELL! It's important...to me and to you. I'll be seeing you. Oh, I'm looking forward to reading a few comments. Hasta manana, if not before.