Bob DeChiara/USA Today Sports

Craig Kimbrel on poor outing: 'It wasn’t quite good enough'

Ryan Hannable
October 09, 2017 - 7:49 pm

Craig Kimbrel picked a bad day to have one of his worst outings of the season. 

Kimbrel entered the game in the eighth inning with the game tied at three and a runner on first base and two outs, a few batters after Chris Sale allowed a game-tying homer. 

The hard-throwing righty then issued a wild pitch and walked the first batter he faced. Astros right fielder Josh Reddick then came through with a two-out, RBI single to left-center to make it a 4-3 game. Kimbrel stayed in the game for the ninth and he allowed a two-out double to pinch-hitter Carlos Beltran to give the Astros a 5-3 cushion.

That proved to be big when Rafael Devers led the bottom of the ninth inning off with an inside the park home run, but because of the insurance run in the top of the ninth, the Red Sox still trailed by one. After the homer, they went 1-2-3 to end the game, and the season.

"I came in, had guys on, I wanted to get out of it." Kimbrel said. "Had a good battle against Reddick. Hit the ball where nobody was, scored a run. Then the second inning, I went out there and gave everything I had. It wasn’t quite good enough today."

Overall, Kimbrel totaled one inning of work and allowed one run on three hits, while walking one and striking out one. He had only one other appearance of allowing three hits this season and that came on Aug. 1.

In the regular season, the Red Sox were 60-7 in games he appeared in. They were 0-2 in the postseason. Overall, Kimbrel's teams are now 2-8 in games he appears in during the postseason.

"Any time you don’t move on in the postseason, everyone’s goal is to get as far as you can in the playoffs. Any time you’re knocked out, you always want to go back and say, ‘What can I do? Can I do this? Can I do that?’," Kimbrel said. "I felt like the ball club, we went out there, got down, came  back yesterday, fought hard. In games like this, that’s all you can really ask for. Just ask to go out there, give it everything you have. Unfortunately, we didn’t get the win."

Although Kimbrel had a very good year, there wasn't always a sense of confidence when he stepped to the mound, mostly because of his occasional control issues.

As for any changes the team could make for next year, Kimbrel said it isn't his job.

"We’ve got a good team," he said. "What can we do different is not really my job.  All I can really do is get back, get ready for the beginning of the season."

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