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Joe Kelly takes responsibility for ‘terrible’ outing

08.17.14 at 6:19 pm ET
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Red Sox starter Joe Kelly issued a career-high six walks. (Getty Images)

Red Sox starter Joe Kelly issued a career-high six walks. (Getty Images)

Joe Kelly could have blamed the misplay by Xander Bogaerts that prolonged an inning that he had appeared to escape. He could have blamed the lengthy delay that arose from an umpiring review of whether Bogaerts stepped on second before firing to first to complete what had seemed — but proved not to be — an inning-ending double play. He did neither.

Instead, the right-hander, making his third start with the Red Sox and his first at Fenway Park, suggested that even though Bogaerts’ failure to step on second for the lead out of a double play and the subsequent review resulted in a prolonged inning (which he’d initially been ruled to have escaped with a 2-0 lead), the pitcher was responsible for the walk and grand slam that followed the extra out.

“Wouldn’t say it’s tough. You’ve got to find a way to just lock back in. You think you have a double play, and then you have to be ready for the next guy. That’s what this whole replay thing has brought on. I think pitchers are learning maybe not thinking the inning is over. That’s why we stay out there,” Kelly said of the difficulty of staying focused during a replay challenge. “[The home run by Jose Altuve] was probably a pitch I could’ve hit a homer on. It was a terrible slider. That’s something, going into the game plan, not throwing him any get-me-over sliders and it was one of those get-me-over-sliders and he put a good swing on it and hit a grand slam on it.”

That pitch was one of many that Kelly regretted. He matched a career-worst by permitting seven runs and set a new career standard with six walks in his four innings of work.

“Wasn’t very good. Just found myself nibbling in the beginning when I shouldn’t have, instead of pounding the zone. I just started missing. When I made a good pitch, it was hard for the umpire to call it a strike, because I was throwing so many balls. I had six walks, which is absolutely horrible. It’s just one of those games. I wasn’t very good today,” said Kelly. “I threw better offspeed pitches than my fastball. You can’t just go out there throwing offspeed. You’ve got to be able to command the fastbll against any team to be successful. Today was just one of those days where I couldn’t command my fastball and they made me pay for it.”

While Kelly’s first start in his new home park offered a hint of unfamiliarity, the pitcher made clear that the occasion was not responsible for his first decision (and loss) in a Red Sox uniform.

“I wasn’t nervous,” he said. “Just a terrible game.”

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