What happened is almost a mystery.
Penny threw eight shutout innings and allowed five hits, one walk, and had two strikeouts as the surging Giants won 4-0.
Let me get this straight, Penny went eight innings? And gave up no runs? And issued one walk?
From July 4 - Aug. 21 in Boston, Penny averaged 5.4 innings per start, had an earned run average of 6.98, and allowed a .313 opponent batting average in 39 innings to go along with a 2-7 record.
He also allowed 15 walks in 49 innings and seven home runs.
Penny left Boston with a 7-8 record, 5.61 ERA, 131.2 IP, 17 HR, 42 walks, and 89 strikeouts.
Then there was John Smoltz, Theo Epstein's project, who died the very first day he took the mound in Washington, D.C. to face the Nationals.
Smoltz was an epic fail as he posted a 2-5 record with a 8.33 ERA in eight starts. He allowed 37 runs in 40 innings, gave up eight home runs, and had nine walks.
After the Sox designated him for assignment, he was picked up by the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals and made his debut on Aug. 28 against, you guessed it, the Washington Nationals.
Here was Smoltz's pitching line:
6.0 IP, 4 hits, 1 run, 1 ER, 0 HR, 1 BB, 6 SO
And how could anyone forget Julio Lugo, Epstein's biggest free agent signing bust of the 2006 offseason?
Lugo is also with the Cardinals and doing amazingly well. During his final days in Boston, he wasn't horrific at the plate as he had a .284 BA in 37 games, but with the Cardinals Lugo is hitting .302 with 26 hits in 29 games, has scored 15 times and has hit seven doubles and three triples.
We all know Boston is a tough place to play baseball and it's never pretty if it doesn't work out, but when all else fails, just sign on with a National League club. With Boston on your resume, you can't possibly lose, and being a reject in Beantown means you'll be a superstar anywhere else in the other weaker league.
This was originally posted on Batter-up with Bruno.