Albers: Right man, wrong pitch location

Albers: Right man, wrong pitch location
May 9, 2012, 6:11 am
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KANSAS CITY -- Matt Albers was the logical choice in the eighth inning Tuesday night.

He just wasn't the successful choice.

Albers, who has a terrific sinker and had made seven straight scoreless appearances, was brought in with runners on first and second and no outs and Billy Butler due for the Kansas City Royals, who trailed 4-3.

With one swing, Butler changed that in a hurry, belting a pitch from Albers deep into the seats in left for a three-run homer that brought the Royals a 6-4 win over the Red Sox.

"I'm trying to go down-and-away right there," explained Albers, "which I think is the right pitch. I can sit here and second-guess, but if I just execute . . . I didn't stay back over the rubber quite enough and the ball leaked over the plate and (Butler) is a good hitter.

"I've faced him a few times and gotten him to roll over on sinkers in and down-and-away. That's what I was trying to do right there and the ball just leaked over the plate. It didn't really run much. It kind of stayed straight and got right down the middle of the plate and he made us play."

Albers entered the game with an ERA of 1.29 and WHIP of 0.86, having strung together 9 23 innings of scoreless ball. Over his last 13 13 innings, he had given up just one run and for the season, he had held opposing righthanded hitters to a .138 (4-for-29) batting average and had stranded seven of the nine inherited runners.

"I didn't think there was an alternative," said Bobby Valentine. "Albers had pitched great. I had Matt ready just in case something happened. Something happened."

"That was the pitch I wanted," concluded Albers. "I just have to execute a little better. I know he's trying to do damage in that situation and I can use that to my advantage. But the ball didn't get where I wanted and he hit it."