Rivers: Allen likely out Saturday, but injury not serious

727304.jpg

Rivers: Allen likely out Saturday, but injury not serious

TORONTO Ray Allen's return to the Boston Celtics' lineup is still up in the air. But C's coach Doc Rivers believes his current ankle injury will sideline him for at least two games - tonight against Toronto and tomorrow night's game at New Jersey.

Allen did not travel with the team for tonight's game against the Raptors, but there was a chance that he might re-join the team in time for Saturday's game against the Nets.

Rivers doesn't believe that'll happen.

"Probably not Jersey," Rivers said when asked about Allen's return. "But we'll see after that."

Allen has missed a 12 games this season, most of which have been because of his current right ankle injury.

The main issue appears to be the ankle swelling up to a point where Allen can't run or play at a level he's comfortable with or used to.

With so many games already missed, Rivers was asked if there was any concern that it might become a season-ending type injury.

"It's not that serious," Rivers said. "It's just swelling."

He added, "that's what the doctor's keep saying. So that makes me feel better about it."

With only eight games remaining, Rivers and his staff have discussed a number of options moving forward that would involve giving rest to some of the core players like Allen.

While it would appear his injury in some ways helps address that need, Rivers was quick to shoot that theory down prior to this morning's shoot-around.

"It would be nice to have Ray with us," Rivers said. "Kind of do some of the things we thought we were going to do. Not having him actually makes it far more difficult."

The Celtics are 11-1 in games this season in which Allen has not played.

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

red_sox_craig_kimbrel_052517.jpg

Weird umpire replay mistake helps Red Sox to record-tying 20 Ks

New York’s mistake helped the Red Sox, and they weren’t playing the Yankees.

The Red Sox struck out 20 in a game for the third time in franchise history on Thursday night, and they were able to do so only after MLB’s replay team — based in Manhattan — gave Craig Kimbrel an extra batter to strike out in the ninth inning.

A 6-2 win over the Rangers featured 16 strikeouts for Red Sox pitching heading into the top of the ninth at Fenway Park. Kimbrel came on for a non-save situation because he had five days off previously.

There’s always that outside chance for a four-strikeout inning, and it happened. Even for a four-strikeout inning, however, this was bizarre.

The first batter, lefthanded hitting Nomar Mazara, swung and missed at a back-foot breaking ball for strike 3 — a literal back-foot breaking ball, because it hit him in that foot after he whiffed on the pitch.

On a swing and a miss with a pitch that hits the batter, the ball should be dead. He should not have been able to reach first base. But the umpires didn’t catch the ball hitting Mazara, and instead saw it as a wild pitch. 

Sox manager John Farrell asked for a review and the umpires went for one, but came back empty-handed. The crew was told, erroneously, that the play could not be looked at and the batter was awarded first base.

“It was just a swinging strike three, ball that go away and he obviously reached first base,” crew chief Alfonso Marquez told pool reporter Tim Britton of the Providence Journal. “The only thing that I can tell you, and the only thing I will say is, this was a replay issue. New York will come out with a statement.”

You could say it worked out just fine. Kimbrel went on to strike out the next three, and got the Sox to 20 Ks.

Kimbrel and Tim Wakefield are the only Red Sox pitchers to fan four batters in a single inning. Wakefield did it in the ninth inning on Aug. 10, 1999. 

Kimbrel did it once before as well, when he was with the Braves on Sept. 26, 2012.

No one has struck out five in a major league inning, although Kimbrel has as good a chance as anyone.

“The guy strikes out the world,” Matt Barnes said. “It’s ridiculous. … His fastball is seemingly unhittable. Complement that with the breaking ball he’s got, which comes right off that same plane, when he’s commanding it like he is, the numbers kind of speak for themselves. It’s kind of ridiculous. It’s fun to watch.”

The Sox have struck out 20 in a nine-inning game three times since 1913. Roger Clemens' two 20-strikeout games are the other two.