Penny Pressure: Red Sox Pitcher Needs Deep Outing Against Tampa Bay Tonight

Amanda BrunoCorrespondent IAugust 5, 2009

BOSTON - JUNE 11:  Brad Penny #36 of the Boston Red Sox throws against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on June 11, 2009 in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
After last night's extra inning disaster, the Boston Red Sox have to brush aside the loss and look towards the future—that being Brad Penny, who takes the mound tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays, who now have a 7-4 record against Boston in 2009.
Penny has been having trouble all season getting past seven innings, and lately he hasn't been making it past five. In his last start against Oakland on July 29, the right-handed pitcher lasted for five innings and gave up seven runs off seven hits and four walks.
Besides facing the Rays who are already a Red Sox fan's worst nightmare right now, Penny's stats don't help the cause one bit.
It's crucial that Penny's goes at least six innings, if not more thanks to a dead bullpen, because of last night's 13-inning loss where six relief pitchers were used.
It's also crucial that Boston's bats wake up and produce. Scoring two runs generally doesn't secure a win, and with the addition of Victor Martinez you'd think critics would stop bringing this matter up.
How critical does Theo Epstein look now, with Justin Masterson being traded in part of the Martinez deal?
Masterson could have easily gone three innings if needed and Terry Francona wouldn't of had to use up all of his arms. Clay Buchholz at one point was warming up in the pen during the top of the 12th inning.
The Rays just love to give the Sox trouble, especially down in their house. How can Boston break this hex? Maybe they should bury a Jacoby Ellsbury jersey under the turf.
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