BOSTON - You can blame Yoenis Cespedes for not getting a read on the fly ball to left field. You can blame Xander Bogaerts for not getting the double play.
But you can't blame anybody but Joe Kelly for walking six batters in four innings on Sunday.
He knows this.
While the grand slam he allowed to Jose Altuve in the second inning all but put the kibosh on Kelly's day, he certainly didn't do himself any favors leading up to it.
Kelly walked two batters in the infamous 2nd inning, including the batter just before Jose Altuve's two-out grand slam, Robbie Grossman.
For Kelly, it was the fastball that he couldn't control.
"A lot of fastballs that either he yanked to his glove side or was below the zone," John Farrell said of Kelly's issues. "So it was just inconsistent command overall. Plenty of stuff, plenty of power, plenty of action to his secondary pitches. Just the command was not as it's been in the first two outings."
Kelly echoed Farrell's points, saying that he threw better off-speed pitches than fastballs, but that you can't just keep throwing off-speed stuff.
"Wasn't very good," Kelly said. "Just found myself nibbling in the beginning when I shouldn't have instead of pounding the zone. Just started missing. When I made a good pitch it was hard for the umpire to call it a strike because I was throwing so many balls. I had six walks today which is actually horrible, but it was just one of those games I wasn't very good today."
Kelly walked two batters in the third inning and two more in the fourth, however none of those base-runners came around to score. He threw a total of 91 pitches on the day, 49 for strikes.
He was charged with all seven runs scored while he was in the game, though you could argue that he was a bit unlucky based on a couple of defensive miscues there in the second inning. The seven runs matches a career-high and was his shortest outing since he went 3.0 innings on July 11 with the Cardinals.
Altuve's grand slam was the first one Kelly has allowed in his career.