Rivers: Garnett to miss one, maybe two games for personal matter


Rivers: Garnett to miss one, maybe two games for personal matter

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. The Boston Celtics will not have Kevin Garnett for tonight's game against Detroit - and possibly Monday's game at Dallas as well.

Garnett is attending to a personal matter that will likely keep him away from the team until Wednesday's game at Oklahoma City.

Celtics coach Doc Rivers said there's a chance that Garnett will rejoin the team in time for tomorrow's game against the Mavs, but added that he's leaving that decision totally up to Garnett.

Rivers said he knew the C's would be without Garnett on Thursday.

"This is not injury-related," Rivers said. "It's something else."

Chris Wilcox, who will get the start in Garnett's absence, said Garnett had some "family issues."

For the Celtics, not having Garnett is another blow in their efforts to develop more continuity and with that, victories.

Garnett missed last week's game against the Pistons with a hip flexor injury. And the Celtics are already going to be without Brandon Bass (left knee), who is not expected back until sometime after the all-star break.

"It's tough, especially when you go on this road trip, and you just want to be healthy," Rivers said. "And you just haven't had that opportunity. This is a road trip I've really been looking forward to. We thought a week ago, Kevin was going to be good and Brandon was going to be healthy and now you don't have either one for at least one of the games, maybe two. That makes it a tough trip."

Not having the team whole or at least relatively intact, also complicates the team's ability to evaluate whether to be active participants in potential trade talks.

"I think we like our team," Rivers said. "Obviously, we don't like our record. We would like to see how good this team can be in whole. Hell, you win five games in a row and all of a sudden, you're in the third spot in the East. I don't think we should overdue it, panic about it."

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


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.