Life After the King

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Life After the King

Last night in Seattle, the Red Sox were abused by Felix Hernandez. Of course, they weren't the first and won't be the last team to be taken to the shed by King Felix, but that doesn't make it any easier.

However, the good news about Hernandez dominating the Sox last night, is that he can't pitch tonight. Or tomorrow. Or Sunday. That even though there are three games left in the series, Felix can't hurt them anymore. Nothing that the Sox will face this weekend can hold a candle to what they saw on Thursday.

For instance, tonight's starting pitcher: Hector Noesi

Noesi is currently 2-9 on the season. He's lost three straight decisions, and hasn't picked up a win since May 6 (nine starts).

On paper, going from Hernandez to Noesi is like going from the New York Times crossword puzzle to Highlights HiddenPictures. But before we write old Hector off too quickly, a closer look at the numbers shows a guy who's been about as unlucky as he's been unproductive.

In his last start, Noesi pitched six innings in a 2-0 loss. Two starts ago, he pitched seven innings in a 1-0 loss. At the end of May, he went eight strong innings in consecutive starts, but picked up the loss on both nights. Sure, he's had some ugly nights, but also a handful of really bad draws.

But whatever, regardless of whether they see Good Hector or Bad Hector, it can't compare to what King Felix pulled last night.

In fact, nothing can.

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

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

Julien sidesteps job security question with "shock journalism" comment

BOSTON -- With three crushing losses in a row at a time when results are really all that matters, the Boston Bruins are reeling at the wrong time during the regular season. The B’s tried their best to win a game 0-0 with strong defense against a sleepy Chicago Blackhawks bunch on Friday night, but ultimately coughed up a Marian Hossa goal in the final minutes for a 1-0 regulation loss at TD Garden.

The defeat continued a swirl downward for the Black and Gold over the last week, and was a second straight shutout loss on home ice for the first time in almost 15 years. The losing stretch has also kicked up the chatter that Claude Julien is in trouble as head coach of the Bruins, and the hockey club’s underperformance up and down the lineup is ultimately going to cost the NHL’s longest tenured bench boss his job.

The Ottawa Senators have passed the Bruins in the Atlantic Division, and it’s only a matter of time before the Toronto Maple Leafs move by them as well with both Toronto and Ottawa holding six games in hand on Boston. Combine all of this with the B’s having missed the playoffs in each of the previous two seasons leading into this one, and it shouldn’t be at all surprising that Julien is squarely on the coaching hot seat.

The B’s bench boss was asked about his job security after the Chicago loss, and clearly didn’t appreciate the tough, but appropriate question.

“Well, I’m not into shock-journalism,” said Julien in a prideful tone. “So I’ll stay away from that question if you don’t mind.”

The Bruins posted their Saturday schedule shortly after Julien and the B’s players had addressed the media following the loss, and sure enough the embattled coach is scheduled to address the media post-practice as part of the regular practice day routine. So it doesn’t seem that a move with Julien is imminent this weekend despite another loss, but both the coach and the players know something is going to happen to shake things up with this team if they continue to struggle.

“Right now it’s a results based situation, so if you’re going to keep losing games then probably something’s going to happen,” said Torey Krug. “But right now we’re just pretty down emotionally after this game, so I don’t want to look at the big picture. I just [want to] focus on what’s going on in this room, and hopefully we can come back with a good effort the next game.”

A good effort might help Julien’s standing with the Bruins in the short term, but it’s impossible to imagine the B’s bench boss making it through the rest of the Bruins regular season given all of things working against him right now.