Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Joe Kelly following rough 8th inning: 'That’s pretty pathetic what I did'

Ryan Hannable
March 29, 2018 - 8:49 pm

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Leading 4-0 going into the eighth inning, it appeared the Red Sox would cruise to an Opening Day win over the Rays. But, that didn't happen as Red Sox relievers allowed six runs in the frame to fall to the Rays, 6-4.

It all started with right-hander Joe Kelly, who didn't have his best stuff.

The right-hander walked the first batter he faced, Daniel Robertson, who then came around to score on a Matt Duffy double to make it a 4-1 game. Kelly then walked the next two batters he faced to load the bases before being pulled from the game.

All three of the runners he put on scored, as Kelly finished his outing allowing four runs with three walks in just 1/3 of an inning.

"I don’t know if I can pinpoint a reason to you," he said. "It was just one of those things that I can live with getting hit around a little bit, but when you let that many hitters on base with a free pass, first of all, it’s going to end up biting you in the butt. Second, it’s the most frustrating part, especially when the guys in front of you threw the ball so well and we were playing a great ballgame.

"Guys were hitting the ball, playing good D, and to come in there and do that doesn’t feel too good. Let’s just say that’s probably the worst it can get. Have to come back here tomorrow and get ready to go."

Added Kelly: "There’s always, 'could’ve tried this, could’ve done that.' At the end of the day, that’s pretty pathetic what I did. Can’t do that. I don’t think I’ve ever done it and it’s probably going to be the last time."

Despite the poor performance from Kelly and Carson Smith who followed, their teammates have their backs.

“Those guys are nasty pitchers, I am going to be honest with you," Xander Bogaerts said. "I have faced them both. I don’t think one game should really put any pressure on them. They are great pitchers. They are nasty pitchers out of the bullpen. It would have been less talked about if it was the 34th game of the season. This happens to be the first game. They are good pitchers. They are going to bounce back, that’s for sure.”