Boston Red Sox: At the end, Craig Kimbrel couldn’t close the deal

BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Craig Kimbrel
BOSTON, MA - OCTOBER 09: Craig Kimbrel /

Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel forgot to bring his dominance to the mound in the team’s Game 4 loss to the Houston Astros.

On a rainy day at Fenway Park, Boston Red Sox closer Craig Kimbrel dampened the day with a bad outing when the team needed him most.

Entering a tie ball game with two outs in the eighth inning, Kimbrel had one job to do and that was to keep the score as it was.  Instead, the usually reliable closer came in throwing the ball wildly, which led to a walk to put runners on first and second base.

He then went into a battle with Astros outfielder Josh Reddick who eventually knocked an RBI single to left-center field to give Houston a 4-3 lead.  Kimbrel came with the heat, but at the end, he admitted it wasn’t good enough.

"“I came in, had guys on, I wanted to get out of it,” Kimbrel said following the game, via  “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.”"

To make things worse, Kimbrel went on to give up another two-out hit to Carlos Beltran to extend the Astros lead to 5-3.  That particular run came back to haunt the Red Sox as rookie Rafael Devers delivered an inside the park home run the following inning.  The team went on to lose Game 4 of the American League Division Series 5-4.

BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 09: Craig Kimbrel
BOSTON, MA – OCTOBER 09: Craig Kimbrel /

A mound of disappointment

In all, Craig Kimbrel worked one inning, allowing one run on three hits.  Although the go-ahead run was attributed to Chris Sale, he was overly frustrated that the team couldn’t close it out to force a Game 5.

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"“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.”"

The Boston Red Sox certainly had their chances Monday against Houston.  As with the majority of the season, they always seemed to be a clutch hit short or an important out away from victory.

In this case, it came down to a battle between the hard-throwing closer and a former Red Sox player who got the best of his former team.

Next: A eulogy in remembrance of the 2017 Boston Red Sox season

Though he had a great season, Craig Kimbrel didn’t come through at the end.  He couldn’t close the deal and now the Boston Red Sox are done in 2017.