First impressions from the Red Sox' 3-1 loss to the Chicago White Sox:
Craig Kimbrel isn't the same guy in non-save situations.
Kimbrel is 16-for-18 in save situations, like the one he had Sunday in the ninth inning when he simply overpowered the Seattle Mariners with a one-run lead.
But in tie games or games in which the Sox are behind or leading by more than three runs, he's not nearly as effective, especially when it comes to his command.
In save situations, he has a strikeout-to-walk ratio of 27-2. In non- save situations, the ratio is 15-7.
Sure enough, he issued a leadoff walk to start the top of the 10th and it ended up costing him, as Jose Abreu smoked a two-run double to right-center.
Steven Wright limited the damage expertly.
For the first few innings, it seemed Wright was constantly living on the edge.
In the first, an error by Travis Shaw and one by Wright himself (on a failed pickoff effort at second) gave the White Sox runners at the corners and just one out. But he got the next two outs to strand two runners in scoring position.
A leadoff double, a long flyout and a passed ball by Christian Vazquez resulted in the first run. In the fourth, Wright allowed a leadoff infield single to Todd Frazier, but then quickly picked Frazier off first and recorded two more outs.
He was efficient thanks to a run of five straight innings in which he faced the minimum number of hitters. Through eight innings, he had thrown just 86 pitches.
Christian Vazquez validated the confidence John Farrell had in him.
In the bottom of the sixth, with runners on first and second and two out, some called for Dustin Pedroia -- given the night off -- to pinch-hit in big spot.
Perhaps Farrell didn't want to mess with the chemistry established between Vazquez and Steven Wright. Wright had allowed just one run on four hits through the first six innings and the two were working well. It's not easy to introduce a new catcher for a starting pitcher, especially when that pitcher is a knuckleballer.
Further, Farrell may have liked what he's seen from Vazquez. Earlier, he had the first Red Sox hit off White Sox starter Miguel Gonzalez -- a sharp single to center -- and later hit a ball nearly to the warning track in center.
Whatever the rationale, it worked: Vazquez singled to center and scored Chris Young with the tying run.