Command issues haunt Red Sox

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Command issues haunt Red Sox

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com

BOSTON --@font-face font-family: "Times New Roman";p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; The Red Sox lost to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night,by a score of 7-6. So it would seem like a minor coincidence that the Red Soxwalked seven batters, as opposed to the six batters the Blue Jays walked.

Only, not really.

That one extra walk represented the leadoff walk in the topof the seventh inning. It turned out to be a disasterous seventh inning forBobby Jenks and the now 2-10 Red Sox, which also turned out to be thedifference maker in a one-run ballgame.

Jenks performed the cardinal sin of walking Torontos No. 9hitter to lead off the inning, with the game tied at 3-3. From there, the BlueJays top of the order took advantage by perfectly executing a hit-and-run, andscoring four earned runs off Bostons reliever, taking a commanding 7-3 lead.

The lead was commanding mainly because of the situationthe Red Sox were in. They had blown a 3-0 lead, and were on their way to a 10thloss, before even winning three.

And that was all because Red Sox pitchers lacked any type ofcommand on Friday night. Sure, Jenks only walked one. But it was the No. 9hitter, and it began an inning of regret.

Before Jenks, there was Clay Buchholz. The loss goes next toJenks name, because he was on the mound for the seventh-inning blow-up. ButBuchholz had initially allowed the Blue Jays into the game, after walking theNo. 8 and 9 hitters with one out in the top of the fifth. It lead to a CoreyPatterson two-out triple that cut Bostons lead to 3-2.

And then in the top of the sixth, Buchholz walked theleadoff batter in Adam Lind, who later scored in the inning, after TravisSnider drove him in with a double off of Alfredo Aceves.

The run was credited to Buchholz, meaning that the threeruns he allowed, all were the product of free passes. He finished with ahandful on the night, in just five innings pitched.

Yea I mean, five walks man, said Buchholz to himself afterthe game, as he leaned back in his chair disgusted with himself. I was alwaystold, Let them get hits and beat you. I feel like I should have beenpenned with this loss today, the way that went. Eliminate two of those walks,maybe thats two runs they dont score and we win the game.

Command was Bostons biggest issue on Friday night. Themanager saw that right from the get-go.

I thought it was a fight from the very beginning, forBuchholz to command, said Red Sox manager Terry Francona after the loss.The whole time, he just couldnt settle in and throw enough strikes.

Again, in the seventh we lead off with a walk, and theyexecute a hit and run, and the whole inning changes, added Francona. So allof a sudden youre playing in, and youre trying to do some things, and Jenkswasnt commanding very well.

Normally it comes down to command. Our guys have goodenough stuff. We just walked some people.

Not only did they walk them, but afterwards, they allowedthem to score.

I just never could find a feel, said Buchholz. I madesome big pitches when I needed to a couple times, but other than that, it was abattle all night . . . That was one of the most uncomfortable outings that Iveever been a part of.

You cant start an inning off that way, said Jenks. To goout there and get the first hitter is the most important thing youve got to doin that inning, and I just flat out stunk today.

Im not going to make any excuses, added Jenks, when askedabout the cold weather. It just wasnt there. All I can say is that I stunk.

Danny Picard is on Twitter at http:twitter.comDannyPicard.

Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Former Red Sox prospect Andy Marte killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Former major leaguer Andy Marte, a one-time top prospect in the Red Sox organization, was killed in a car crash in the Dominican Republic on Sunday. He was 33.

Marte was killed the same day that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Ventura was 25. Coincidentally, Ventura was the Royals starting pitcher in Marte's final major league game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014.

Marte, drafted by the Braves in 2000, was ranked the No. 9 prospect in baseball in 2005 when the third baseman was traded to the Red Sox as part of the deal that sent shortstop Edgar Renteria to Atlanta and Marte became the top-ranked prospect in the Red Sox organization.  

Marte was traded by the Red Sox to the Indians in 2006 in the deal that sent Coco Crisp to Boston and spent five seasons with Cleveland. His best season was 2009 (.232, six home runs, 25 RBI in 47 games). After a six-game stint with Arizona in 2014, he played in South Korea the past two years.  

Metropolitan traffic authorities in the Dominican told the Associated Press that Marte died when a car he was driving his a house along the highway between San Francisco de Macoris and Pimentel, about 95 miles (150 kilometers) north of the capital.
 

Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

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Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura killed in car crash in Dominican Republic

Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura was killed in a car crash in in the Dominican Republic on Sunday morning, according to multiple reports. Ventura was 25 years old.

Highway patrol spokesman Jacobo Mateo told the Associated Press that Ventura died on a highway leading to the town of Juan Adrian, about 40 miles (70 kilometers) northwest of Santo Domingo. He says it's not clear if Ventura was driving.

Ventura was killed the same day former major leaguer Andy Marte died in a separate car crash in the Dominican. Coincidentally, Ventura was the starting pitcher in Marte's final MLB game, for the Arizona Diamondbacks on Aug. 6, 2014. 

Ventura was 13-8 with a 4.08 ERA for the Royals' 2015 World Series champions and 11-12 with a 4.45 ERA in 32 starts in 2016. The right-hander made his major league debut in 2013 and in 2014 went 14-10 with a 3.20 ERA for Kansas City's A.L. pennant winners. 

Ironically, Ventura paid tribute to his good friend and fellow Dominican, Oscar Tavares, who was also killed in a car crash in the D.R. in October 2014, by wearing Tavares' initials and R.I.P. on his cap before Ventura's start in Game 6 of the World Series in 2014. 

Ventura is the second current major league player to die in the past five months. Former Miami Marlins ace Jose Fernandez was killed in a boating accident in Miami on Sept. 25.