Instead of pitching 7 2/3 scoreless innings against the Red Sox on Thursday night in Kansas City’s 5-1 win in Kauffman Stadium, Chen could have been one of the most improbable heroes in Red Sox history. Terry Francona never would have been fired, the chicken and beer never would have gotten past the clubhouse door, and the Sox would not have missed the playoffs in 2011.
It came this close to happening, Chen said Thursday night after pitching the “they sure look real” Royals to their 16th win in 20 games since the All-Star break. His slow, slower, slowest repertoire of pitches kept the Sox off-balance, with only one Sox baserunner advancing as far as second while he was in the game.
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