Morales good, though not good enough, against Indians

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Morales good, though not good enough, against Indians

CLEVELAND Franklin Morales wasnt at his best Saturday night against the Cleveland Indians, but just about everyone agreed he pitched well enough to win.

The Sox left-hander struggled with his command while allowing four walks and a hit batsman in 5 13 innings of work. But he also allowed only a pair of hits and three runs, plenty good enough to keep the Sox in a game they eventually lost by a 5-2 score at Progressive Field.

I thought he was really good," said Bobby Valentine. "He threw a ball 3-1 down the middle to Brent Lillibridge for a home run and seemed to lose his control in the last inning. Other than that, he pitched pretty good. He pitched pretty damned good.

In the other games he had really good control of his offspeed stuff. Tonight he wasnt getting his curveball called for strikes and his changeup was just missing. But he pitched well enough to win. There is no doubt about that.

Morales dropped to 3-3 on the season and his sixth-inning performance was what eventually doomed him. He walked a pair of batters one intentionally and one not and hit a batter to load the bases, and was lifted from a 2-2 tied game with one out in the inning. Andrew Miller relieved Morales and allowed a Michael Brantley sacrifice fly to left field that scored Asdrubal Cabrera.

That proved to be the winning run, and that was the inning that Morales was kicking himself about after it was all over.

I tried to throw my curveball for strikes and I missed, said Morales. Sometimes thats the game. You try to avoid mistakes and make your pitches all the way through, but I missed in a few situations. I missed a couple of pitches in the sixth and got behind the count. Sometimes you miss and that happens some times.

I tried to hold my team in there the best I could and the guys tried to keep us in there the best they could in the field. It just wasnt meant for us today.

Instead the Sox lefty -- who has a 2.94 ERA and 57 strikeouts in his last 15 outings, dating back to June 3 -- will go back to the drawing board encouraged by the six strikeouts in 5 13 innings that easily display the kind of dominant stuff hes bringing to the pitchers mound as a starter.

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Youkilis weighs in on Valentine possibly being Japan ambassador

Among the reactions to the news that Bobby Valentine was possibly being considered to be the US amassador to Japan in President Donald Trump’s administration was this beauty from Kevin Youkilis. 

Valentine famously called out Youkilis early in his stormy tenure as Red Sox manager in 2012. Remember? "I don't think he's as physically or emotionally into the game as he has been in the past for some reason," Bobby V said of Youk at the time. 

The Red Sox traded Youkilis to the White Sox for two not-future Hall of Famers, outfielder Brent Lillibridge and right-hander Zach Stewart, later that season.

Youkilis, now Tom Brady’s brother-in-law by the way, had a 21-game stint playing in Japan in 2014 before retiring from baseball. 

 

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Report: Bobby Valentine could be Trump’s US ambassador to Japan

Major league manager. Inventor of the wrap sandwich. Champion ballroom dancer.  And…

US ambassador to Japan?

Bobby Valentine is on the short list for that position in President Donald Trump’s administration, according to a WEEI.com report.

The former Red Sox manager (fired after a 69-93 season and last-place finish in 2012), and ex-New York Mets and Texas Rangers, skipper, also managed the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan’s Pacific League for six seasons. 

When asked by the New York Daily News if he's being considered for the post, Valentine responded: "I haven't been contacted by anyone on Trump's team." 

Would he be interested?

"I don't like to deal in hypotheticals," Valentine told the Daily News.

Valentine, 66, has known the President-elect and Trump's brother Bob since the 1980s, is close to others on Trump’s transition team and has had preliminary discussions about the ambassador position, sources told WEEI.com’s Rob Bradford. 

Valentine, currently the athletic director of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., is also friendly with current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who, like Valentine, attended the University of Southern California.