Faulk will (or should) be the next to say goodbye

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Faulk will (or should) be the next to say goodbye

Two weeks ago in Ft. Myers, Tim Wakefield said goodbye to the Red Sox after 17 years in Boston. On Thursday, Jason Varitek, who's been with the Sox since 1997, will walk away from the game in what will certainly be another emotional ceremony.

Neither Wakefield nor Tek were ready to retire, but time and circumstances forced their hand. In the end, they made the right decision (or finally just accepted reality) and will now move on with the next phase of their lives.

I bring this up because today at Children's Hospital in Boston, Mary Paoletti caught up with Kevin Faulk, who was visiting with some young patients during this, his 13th NFL offseason.

When the topic of Faulk future came up, he gave a familiar answer:

"Ill tell you this much: My decision is not going to be based on solely me, he said. So, thats one thing I have to weigh in. But at the same time, Ive played a lot of football. If it doesnt happen to work out for me later, hey, it doesnt. Im blessed, Im happy, I thank God for everything, but at the same time, I know what I love to do and if it happens, it happens.

Kevin, it's not going to happen.

With Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen likely ready for expanded roles, Danny Woodhead under contract for another two years and BenJarvus Green-Ellis hopefully back in town on a respectable multi-year deal, there's no role for Faulk on next year's team. There was barely a role on this year's team.

The time has come to walk away, and while we can understand why he didn't make an impromptu retirement announcement at the Children's Hospital, it's fair to guess that Faulk will eventually come to the same conclusion and face the same reality as Wake and Tek, and hold a retirement press conference of his own this summer at Gillette.

Rich can be reached at rlevine@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Rich on Twitter at http:twitter.comrich_levine

First impressions: Wright again the victim of poor run support

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First impressions: Wright again the victim of poor run support

CHICAGO -- First impressions of the Red Sox' 4-1 loss to the White Sox.

 

Steven Wright has a 1.67 ERA, and somehow, has three losses.

Wright was again the victim of poor run support. He pitched six innings, allowed just two runs and yet was saddled with the loss, dropping him to 2-3.

In his three losses to date, here are the scores of the games when he left: 2-0, 2-1, 2-1.

Some poor command in the third cost Wright a bit. He walked the first two hitters of the inning, and after a groundout moved the runners over, issued an intentional walk to load the bases. A groundout then scored a run for the White Sox, who never threatened again.

In fact, after the intentional walk, Wright retired 11 of the next 12 hitters he faced.

 

Carson Smith pitched as expected.

Making his Red Sox debut after missing the first month with a forearm strain, Smith retired the White Sox in order and needed just nine pitches to get the three outs.

Smith's M.O. is that he has a heavy sinker and can make hitters swing-and-miss. He got two groundouts, then overpowered Austin Jackson with a mix of sinkers and sliders for an inning-ending strikeout.

 

The Red Sox fell to 0-3 against lefty starters.

Obviously, it's an extremely small sample size. And maybe it's because the Sox haven't had a lot of looks at lefties, having faced just two in their first 25 games before Tuesday night.

Then again, Chicago starter Jose Quintana has always been tough on the Red Sox. Even before limiting them to a single run over seven innings, Quintana was 2-0 with a 2.14 ERA in six previous starts.

Boston hit the ball hard three times. Once, Hanley Ramirez homered to right. Twice, White Sox outfielders took extra bases away from David Ortiz (Austin Jackson in the first) and Jackie Bradley Jr. (Adam Eaton in the third).

 

Junichi Tazawa has been excellent, but not Tuesday night.

Tazawa came into a 2-1 game in the eighth. The first four hitters to face him went: bunt single, walk, (wild pitch), two-run double, walk.

Granted, one of the hits was a bunt. But you can't afford to issue two walks and throw a wild pitch in a one-run game.

That outing came after nine straight scoreless outings, and had been scored upon in just one of his first 11 outings.

But Tazawa couldn't locate Tuesday and it cost him.