Red Sox

Tanguay: I have a bad feeling about Craig Kimbrel

Tanguay: I have a bad feeling about Craig Kimbrel

The Craig Kimbrel Watch is on. Call me an alarmist if you want, but I got a bad feeling about this guy.

The Red Sox' new closer walked in the go-ahead run and a rare Clay Buchholz quality start spiraled down the drain. During the home opener. Kimbrel gave up a three-run home run to Orioles masher Chris Davis, which, on its own is not a big deal. Couple it with today’s meltdown, though, and it’s a big deal.  

I understand Kimbrel inherited a mess because of Josh Rutledge’s throwing error, a Christian Vasquez passed ball and Koji Uehara’s poor outing, but it's his job to clean up such a mess. Today was embarrassing.  A closer doesn't walk in a run . . . ever. As a matter of fact, prior to today Kimbrel never had.

What made everything  worse was the way the Kimbrel looked blowing this thing. After striking out Edwin Encarnacion, he seemed to completely lose it. He went all Daniel Bard on us and couldn’t throw a strike. Then Russell Martin took him deep to shallow right-center for a bloop two-run single that, in the end, proved to be the difference.

Koji is 41 years old and has been used a lot by John Farrell recently, so I can excuse his struggles today. Kimbrel’s, I can't. Pitching in San Diego and the National League West is one thing. Pitching at Fenway Park and in the American League is a completely different animal. I hope Kimbrel has the makeup and control to thrive at Fenway, though I saw no evidence of that today.

Consider me alarmed.


Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

Strong Grapefruit League debut for Price

David Price's Grapefruit League debut was nearly perfect.

The Red Sox left-hander pitched four scoreless innings, allowing a hit and a walk and striking out five in a 7-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays in Fort Myers, Fla.

Price threw 55 pitches, 34 for strikes. He cruised through the first on nine pitches. He allowed the single and walk in the second.  

"It feels good. This is March 15 and I've never been able to have a four-pitch mix on March 15," Price told reporters after his start. "I've never been this far along in spring training even though I've only thrown in one game. I'm excited about that."

The Red Sox open March 29 at Tampa Bay, with Chris Sale likely to start. Price will likely pitch the second game of the season, March 30 at Tropicana Field.