Jesus Pena was a left-handed reliever for the 2000 Red Sox. That right there, is about as much as can be said about his Red Sox career. As luck would have it, I was fortunate enough to see him pitch in one game during the 2000 season.
It was September 21, 2000 against the Cleveland Indians. It was quite a game. Rolando Arrojo gave up an amazing seven runs in the top of the fourth inning, putting the Sox in an instant hole. The Sox, however, wouldn’t give up. The actually clawed back and won the game. Pena actually recorded a hold in this game. (OK, maybe “recorded” is a bit of a stretch.) He pitched one scoreless inning, protecting a 8-7 lead in the fourth. To be honest, I’m only assuming he gets credited with a hole, despite the early entry into the game. since the starter only went two-thirds of an inning, I guess Pena technically could have gotten the win when he entered the game. But, he certainly took care of that chance with his performance. In his inning, he gave up a double and two walks. A double play allowed him to escape the bases loaded jam with the lead in tact. It’s probably exactly the performance you could expect from a young reliever. And, to be fair, he was facing quite a line-up. The first four batters Pena faced that day? Omar Vizquel, Roberto Alomar, Manny Ramirez, and Jim Thome. Welcome to the majors, kid! So, I suppose a double to Alomar and walks to Manny and Thome is a pretty good result.
Happy 36th Birthday Jesus Pena!