Bailey's forgettable season continues with blown save

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Bailey's forgettable season continues with blown save

NEW YORK -- Andrew Bailey's season began with disappointment. Now that it's ending, it isn't getting any better.

Bailey suffered a freak thumb injury in the final week of spring training, leading to surgery that sidelined him for the first 4 12 months of the season.

Then, after a series of initial strong appearances, Bailey's season turned ugly again with a blown save two weeks ago in Tampa and another Tuesday night in New York.

Bailey came in for the bottom of the ninth, with the Red Sox leading 3-1, but immediately gave up a single to Curtis Granderson and then a two-run, game-tying homer to pinch-hitter Raul Ibanez.

Three innings later, Ibanez struck again with a walkoff single off Andrew Miller for a 4-3 Yankee victory.

"(Jon) Lester threw a great ballgame and the bullpen came in and did their job. I didn't," said Bailey. "That's it. I let the team down. Two-run lead, (I've) got to get the first guy out. I made a bad pitch to Ibanez on a 1-and-2 count, left the ball middle. I've got to get back to just making better pitches."

Bailey wanted the 1-and-2 pitch to Ibanez "off the plate. (But) I threw it right down the middle. Nothing else to it. He did his job. There's nothing fun about letting guys just run around the bases. Unfortunately, I'll have a long off-season to think about that."

The loss stung more because of the circumstances. Dustin Pedroia forced his way back into the lineup despite a broken finger and helped drive in the first run of the night. Lester, meanwhile, allowed only an unearned run in five innings and was in line for his 10th win until Bailey imploded.

"You have guys like Pedroia, playing with broken fingers, and Jonny throwing a hell of a ballgame," sighed Bailey. "I've got to get back to just getting people out."

Two weeks ago, as the Sox wrapped a series in Tampa Bay, Bailey also was victimized in the ninth by the long ball.

"No one likes losing," he said. "I've let the team down a few times and it's my fault. There's no one else to blame. (It's) a mixture of not getting ahead of guys and making bad pitches when I have to put people away. (Tonight) was a situation where I've got to put (Ibanez) away and I didn't."

Bailey has watched video and reviewed his outings and is convinced that the problems aren't related to his delivery.

"Everything feels good," he said. "I'm just not executing pitches when I need to. That's really the bottom line. There's just no excuse."

Bailey figures to be haunted by a loss like Tuesday's, but it might serve as winter-long incentive.

"Unfortunately, we have a long off-season," Bailey said. "This game is what's going to keep me pushing forward to next year. Everybody fought today and I went out there and blew it. It doesn't feel good, but these last two weeks are definitely going to keep me motivated enough to do more than I ever have."

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

Quotes, notes and stars: Porcello 'the model of consistency'

BOSTON - Quotes, notes and stars from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays

 

QUOTES:

"Rick has been the model of consistency.'' - John Farrell on starter Rick Porcello

"It means that we have a heck of a team, really. The runs we put up, and I don't think anybody talks about our defense.'' - Porcello, asked about the significance of being baseball's first 18-game winner.

"It's cool to be a part of that, but we're in a race right now and that's way more important.'' - Mookie Betts on the crowd chants of "MVP!" during his at-bat.

 

NOTES

* Hanley Ramirez has nine extra-base hit in the last 15 games.

* Opposing baserunners have stolen only 54 percent of the time when Sandy Leon is behind the plate, the lowest figure for any Red Sox catcher (minimum 20 games) since 1987

* Brock Holt tied a season high with three hits, including two with two outs and runners in scoring position.

* Mookie Betts set a career high with 72 extra-base hits.

* Betts became the third player in franchise history to have a 30-homer season before the age of 24. Ted Williams and Tony Conigliaro are the others.

* Betts has five homers and 13 RBI in his last five home games.

* Rick Porcello is just the fifth major league pitcher since 1913 to begin a season 13-0 at home

* Porcello is the third Red Sox pitcher to win 18 of his first 21 decisions after Cy Young (1902) and Daisuke Matsuzaka (2008)

* David Ortiz leads the majors in doubles, slugging percentage and OPS.

 

STARS:

1) Rick Porcello

The righthander became the first 18-game winner in the big leagues and he did it by supplying seven innings for the sixth straight start while improving to 13-0 at home.

2) Mookie Betts

Betts gave the Red Sox an early lead with his 30th homer of the year, becoming the third player in franchise history to reach that milestone before the age of 24.

3) Travis Shaw

Shaw broke out of a month-long slump with a three-hit game, including a double, to go along with two RBI.

 

First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

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First impressions: Porcello settles in, helps Red Sox beat Rays, 9-4

First impressions from the Red Sox' 9-4 win over the Tampa Bay Rays:

 

* Rick Porcello followed form.

Porcello has, throughout the season, struggled some in the early innings before making some adjustments and stabilizing as the game wears on.

So it was Monday night against the Rays.

Coming into the start, Porcello had compiled a 4.15 ERA in the first three innings with a 2.13 ERA in innings four through six.

Sure enough, Porcello allowed four straight hits and two runs in the third inning. After that, he looked like a different pitcher. He did yield a solo run in the fifth when he gave up a leadoff double and two groundouts.

But from the fourth through the seventh, he faced 13 hitters and retired 12 of them, including five by strikeout.

 

* Travis Shaw showed signs of digging out his funk at the plate.

Shaw was 0-for-6 to start the homestand, and since the beginning of August, had compiled an anemic .141/.236/.264 slash line with only four extra-base hits (two doubles, two doubles).

That resulted in Shaw losing playing time to Aaron Hill at third, and being dropped lower in the batting order.

But Monday, Shaw smacked a double to right -- the kind of extra-base power that he almost routinely flashed in the first half -- and later added two singles for a three-hit night.

It marked the first multi-hit game for him since July 26, better than a month ago.

 

* Lo and behold, the Red Sox can collect hits with the bases loaded.

The team's struggles in that department have been well-chronicled. Coming into the night, the Sox were hitting just .211 in such situations, ranking them 14th out of the 15 A.L. teams.

Time after time, the Sox have failed to come through with the bases full, sometimes even with no outs.

But that wasn't the case Monday. Twice, in fact, the Sox had innings with the bases loaded and both times, they scored.

In the second, Brock Holt's single to left scored Chris Young, though Sandy Leon was cut down at the plate when the Sox tried to get two runs out of it.

In the seventh, a sharp single to center by Sandy Leon scored two more.