Red Sox Recap: Joe Kelly Was Less Than ‘King’ Vs. Blue Jays


For a time, it looked like the game was going to be just like last night’s game for the Boston Red Sox. Then, in today’s game, the Toronto Blue Jays actually allowed a run. That’s as far as any hope went for Red Sox Nation.

In front of just under 43 000 fans in the Rogers Centre, in Toronto, the Blue Jays started Drew Hutchison against the Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly. Much like last night, the scoring took the favor of Canada’s lone MLB franchise. After Boston’s starting lineup went out in order, the Blue Jays capitalized on Kelly’s lack of control, when pitching and playing defense.

After Blue Jays third baseman Josh Donaldson singled, a pickoff attempt at first base turned into a throwing error by Kelly. Once Jose Bautista took a walk to first, Kelly unleashed a wild pitch to Edwin Encarnacion, which moved both runners into scoring position. A coach’s visit to the mound did nothing to quell the issues, as Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin hit a sacrifice fly to right field, scoring Donaldson. Fortunately for Kelly, he got Michael Saunders to ground out to end the scoring, but first blood was in the waters of Lake Ontario, once again.

In the bottom of the second inning, Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis reached on another error by Kelly, this time for interference, which also allowed Chris Colabello to move to scoring position. Colabello, the Blue Jays’ newest phenom from the minors, was then able to score, after Donaldson’s single to left field.

It would have been eerily similar to yesterday’s game, but the Blue Jays didn’t wait this time until the bottom of the sixth inning to add runs to the final total. Encarnacion destroyed Kelly’s ugly-looking, 80-mph curveball over the fence in left center field, cashing in Travis and Bautista. It was 5-0 before even the fifth inning.

May 8, 2015; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis (29) turns a double play on Boston Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia (15) during the first inning at Rogers Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

This time, the Red Sox didn’t wait to score a run, either, however. Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia singled to right field, driving in center fielder Mookie Betts. Hutchison was starting to show signs of his previous games, not being able to finish the fifth inning of games. Designated hitter David Ortiz singled and third baseman Pablo Sandoval walked to load the bases, putting pressure on the Blue Jays’ starter.

That was until a coach’s visit to the mound, including Martin who has had success calming his pitching staff when the going got tough. Today was no different. Hutchison was able to get Red Sox veteran Mike Napoli to fly out to right field to end the threat in its tracks. Hutchison survived the fifth, relatively unscathed.

Blue Jays relief pitcher Liam Hendriks took over for Hutchison in the top of the sixth inning. Apparently, Toronto’s manager John Gibbons had seen enough to pull his starter, giving him confidence to build on for his next start.

It’s not like the Red Sox made Gibbons regret his decision, either. For a team that was built with the strategy to hammer opposing teams’ bullpens, while keeping their own starter longer in games, the Red Sox lineup sure didn’t seem too imposing on Hendriks. In fact, the middle reliever pitched to 10 batters in three full innings, getting the outs that he needed to blank Boston’s bats.

In the meantime, Bautista watched as, finally, Joe Kelly was replaced by Matt Barnes, in the bottom of the sixth inning, whom uncorked a wild pitch of his own. The similar lack of control allowed Donaldson to move into scoring position, which Bautista capitalized on with a single that cashed Donaldson across home plate. Travis did the same to Barnes in the bottom of the seventh inning, hitting a single to center field to score Ezequiel Carrera.

The Blue Jays, leading 7-1, felt confident enough to put young prospect Roberto Osuna in the game to pitch the ninth inning, and he didn’t disappoint. The 20-year-old from Mexico put all three Red Sox batters away, quickly, to help Hutchison record his third win of the season, sending the loss Kelly’s way.

Game Notes:

  • Betts went 2-for-5, with a run scored. The leadoff man is hitting .242 for the season.
  • Sandoval was 2-for-3, with a walk. Last time against Hutchison, he was 4-for-4.
  • The Red Sox left 9 runners on base, going 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position. The Blue Jays had more runners on base, which made them bound to leave a few more. Toronto had 11 runners left on base, going 4-for-9 with runners in scoring position.


Game Ball. <b>Joe Kelly</b>. STARTING PITCHING . D-.

He never really had control of any pitch other than the fastball, and he often missed with that, too. Kelly threw 113 pitches, with only 65 for strikes. He finished with 6 earned runs on 4 hits, 6 walks, while striking out 3 Blue Jays. By not lasting a full 6 innings, once again, Kelly has now given up at least 5 runs in 5 innings for his last 4 starts. Talk about a burdened bullpen. Kelly is making the relievers earn their keep every time he gets on the mound.

C. . Game Ball. <b>Matt Barnes</b>. RELIEF PITCHING

It should be noted that

Tommy Layne

did pitch a full inning that did not result in a Blue Jays run scored. A hit and a strikeout later, and Layne was done. However, the damage had already been done, and the Red Sox were merely kicked in the ribs while they were down by Barnes’ mistakes. With 4 hits, an earned run, a walk, and a strikeout in 1.1 innings, Barnes didn’t sink the ship, but he made the hole a bit bigger in the hull.

C. . Game Ball. <strong>Dustin Pedroia</strong>. OFFENSE

This award is purely out of default. Pedroia was the one batter who actually hit the ball in play to score a runner. Since this particular skill was out of reach for everyone, last night, it shall be praised, today. Even though he went 1-for-4, Pedroia did what the heart of the order could not do: score a runner. No walks or singles can top that, and they didn’t.