Wet and wild: Lackey can't handle Padres

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Wet and wild: Lackey can't handle Padres

By Danny Picard
CSNNE.com Follow @dannypicard
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"; a:link, span.MsoHyperlink color: blue; text-decoration: underline; a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed color: purple; text-decoration: underline; table.MsoNormalTable font-size: 10pt; font-family: "Times New Roman"; div.Section1 page: Section1; John Lackey wouldnt come out and say it himself. Herealizesit would sound like he was making excuses.

But after a 38-minute rain delay with two outs in the top ofthe third inning, Lackey was all over the place as he allowed four runs in the top of the fourth.

There were four rain delays at a soaked Fenway Park oon Wednesdayafternoon, totaling 2 hours and 24 minutes. Lackey was caught up in the seconddelay, and seemed to lose something when he hit a soggy mound in the fourth.

He went back out after the rain delay, and it just lookedlike he lost his feel, said manager Terry Francona after Bostons 5-1loss to the San Diego Padres in a game shortened to 7 12 innings because of the rain. I dont think the conditionswere very good for either pitcher. But he just lost his command and it cost ussome runs.

Obviously he didnt have a real good feel. You could tell.He hit a lefty with a breaking ball. He was scattering some pitches.

Lackey loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. Hewalked Orlando Hudson, hit Anthony Rizzo, and then gave up a bunt single toCameron Maybin. After striking out Nick Hundley, Lackey walked in a run andthen hit Jason Bartlett with a pitch high in the shoulder, which scored anotherrun, giving the Padres a 3-0 lead.

It didnt get any better from there, as Lackey then threw awild pitch high and outside that scored San Diegos fourth run. He followedthat up by allowing an RBI single to Chase Headley, making it 5-0 and endinghis day.

Still, Lackey didnt come out using the conditions as anexcuse several hours later. But he did hint that they affected him.

I dont think Ive ever hit anybody with the bases loadedbefore, said Lackey during a brief, contentious postgame press conference.

When later asked about his grip on the ball being a possibleissue, Lackey said, I dont know. You guys are going to write what you want towrite. Whatever.

It will be written that Lackey lost the game during a fourthinning which saw him as wild as a pitcher can be.

But it will also be written that Lackey allowed a leadoffhome run to Will Venable in the top of the first, which gave the Padres anearly 1-0 lead.

After that, and before the delay, Lackey seemed to settle down.

He got ahead right away and then left a cutter over theplate to Venable, and then was throwing strikes, said Francona. I thoughthe was throwing the ball very well actually.

And while Lackey wouldnt come out and openly admit that theweather played a role in his sixth loss of the season, others made sure theydid for him.

I thought he threw the ball well, other than the one pitchhe made to Venable, said Red Sox catcher Jason Varitek. He was throwing theball well.

It definitely was wet and it was obvious that you lose yourfeel. He had a fastball that shot away from him, lost some changeups. Couldntquite figure out what was the best pitch to get him in the zone in thatsituation.

It was obvious in that inning, it was sloppy out there,added Varitek. It was even hard for me throwing balls back to the mound. Itwas that entire game. Thats a tough one for him to have to wear, because hehas been throwing the ball well.

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

Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

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Report: Aroldis Chapman, Yankees reach deal for $86M, 5 years

OXON HILL, Md. - Aroldis Chapman found a spot in a most familiar bullpen - a very rich spot, too.

The hard-throwing closer reached agreement to return to the New York Yankees on Wednesday night with the highest-priced contract ever for a relief pitcher, an $86 million deal for five years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract was pending a physical. The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the deal was not yet complete.

Once it's done, the 28-year-old lefty whose fastballs routinely top 100 mph would shatter the previous richest contract for a reliever - that was the $62 million, four-year deal Mark Melancon signed with San Francisco just a couple days ago during the winter meetings.

Chapman was acquired by New York from the Cincinnati Reds last offseason, then missed the first 29 games of the season due to a domestic violence suspension from Major League Baseball. The Cuban was traded to the Chicago Cubs in late July and helped them win the World Series, becoming a free agent when it was over.

Chapman went 4-1 with 36 saves and a 1.55 ERA in a combined 59 games for the Yankees and Cubs. He struggled some in the postseason as the Cubs beat Cleveland for their first championship since 1908.

With the Yankees this season, Chapman teamed with Andrew Miller and Dellin Betances in one of the most dominant bullpens in baseball history. Miller was later traded to Cleveland, but Betances is still with New York.

Earlier this week, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said the team was interested in both Chapman and fellow free agent closer Kenley Jansen. The Yankees had already made one deal at these meetings, signing slugger Matt Holliday, before paying a lot more to bring Chapman back to the Bronx.

Fox Sports first reported the agreement.

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

CSN CHICAGO: Yoan Moncada 'thrilled' to reunite with Jose Abreu on White Sox

Yoan Moncada and Jose Abreu are back together.

The two Cuban natives were teammates in 2012 when they played for Cienfuegos in Cuba, and now they'll be in the same dugout once again — this time in Chicago.

"To get the opportunity to play with him right now in the United States, it's an honor for me," Moncada said through a translator on a conference call Wednesday. "I'm thrilled with that."

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