Obviously a tough loss. The pink hats have taken to twitter and are already calling this a lost season and are shredding Bobby V’s pitching decisions. I for one thought there were a lot of positives to take away from the game.
- Jon Lester looked great. It was nice to see him match Verlander pitch for pitch after a poor spring. The 3 walks were the only blemish on the day.
- The team came back. Clutch hitting by Pedroia and Sweeney tied up the game off a pitcher who hadn’t blown a save since 2010. I loved seeing that the team has some fight.
- Bobby Valentine’s managing. I thought he made all the right pitching moves. Melancon should’ve started the 9th. That is why we traded for him. People forget this guy had over 20 saves last year for Houston. He was traded to be a set-up man and this is a situation he is going to have to thrive in if he wants to stick around. I have read a lot of criticism about his quick yank after the two hits. I think it was the absolute right call. The dude has been destroyed all spring and things were not looking any different this afternoon. I though replacing him with Aceves was the right choice. A lot of people say you don’t bring your closer in during a tied game on the road. I counter that with the fact that Aceves isn’t a closer. He could’ve finished the ninth and gone the 10th. I don’t really blame him for his rough outing either. The dude has been bounced from the rotation after a great spring to the bullpen and then was named closer 2 days ago. That is a lot to take in and to adjust to. Also Salty should’ve caught that ball that hit Santiago.
- Jenny Dell. Instant wood every time she came on the screen.
- Mark Melancon. Dude just looked awful. He was a big part of our offseason and just has not been impressive. His lack of swing and misses over the spring has to raise some eyebrows. I also didn’t like how he said he thought he was yanked a little quick. Just shut up. I’m sure he hates Bobby V after he publicly mocked him but take the high road and just keep your mouth shut.
- The offense. I’m not afraid about this teams hitting at all. Just today it sucked. This is to expected when facing the reigning CY Young and MVP winner. Expect the bats to bounce back tomorrow.
- The Bullpen in general. Bard needs to be in that pen. Padilla has no idea what he is doing out there and I wouldn’t be surprised if he tanks it on purpose. Bleacher Report had him on their list of top 10 club house cancers. I think he should be starting but I’m in the minority. Aceves is a great pitcher and his success as a closer is still TBD. I think he can make a good closer but he is a huge question mark.