Category Archives: Spring Training Games

Andrew Bailey Makes Red Sox Debut In Walk Off Win

Pedro Ciriaco’s 10th inning walk off home run capped off a crazy night of baseball for the Boston Red Sox. Josh Beckett had a shaky first inning but settled down for a quality outing against his former team.

Beckett was all over the place in the first inning as he allowed a single and hit two batters. After the first Beckett found his rhythm and retired the next nine batters he faced as he threw 55 pitches in four innings on three days rest. Manager Bobby Valentine and pitching coach Bob McClure have been having the starters throw on three days rest to build up their arm strength. As the season gets closer and the rotation comes together  pitchers will eventually get their normal five days off.

Following Beckett was the Red Sox debut for Andrew Bailey. Bailey looked a little rusty as he gave a run on 3 consecutive hits. He settled down and then retired the next 3 Miami hitters in order. Look for Bailey to bounce back in his next outing.

Ross Ohlendorf also made his Red Sox debut in the game.  The right-hander allowed one hit, struck out one and walked one, throwing his fastball, changeup and slider. “I definitely had a lot of adrenaline,” said Ohlendorf, who was held behind other pitchers because of his history of injuries and because he encountered back discomfort at the start of camp. “First time coming out of the bullpen in four years too probably added to it, but also first time you pitch. I get some adrenaline every time. Today was more than a lot of times.”

The game was tied in the tenth when non roster invitee Pedro Ciriaco launched a hanging breaking ball over the monster. Ciriaco is enjoying a great spring and has a team high .545 avg.

Game Notes

  • Mike Aviles went 2-for-3 with a double and triple, and is now hitting .368 in 19 plate appearances.
  • Ryan Sweeney was replaced in right field with what the Red Sox called a left quad strain. This is a disappointing set back for Sweeney who was hoping to battle for a starting role in fight field.
  • Nick Punto, Cody Ross and Kelly Shoppach each had an RBI in the game.
  • Miami manager Ozzie Guillen was ejected for the first as the skipper of the Marlins evidently for telling the first base umpire that a fair/foul call was not yet in his jurisdiction because the ball remained in front of the bag. Ozzie seems to already be in mid season form.
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Jon Lester’s Domination of O’s Continue. Sox win 6-1.

Jon Lester made his first Grapefruit League start of the spring sunday. His two previous appearances this year were two innings in a 25-0 win over Northeastern and 2 2-3 innings in a “B’’ game against Minnesota. The big lefty  walked four and struck out two. The only hit he gave up was an RBI single to ‘Sox killer Adam Jones. The four walks is a startling number, but some of that was due to the unfamiliarity between new catcher Kelly Shoppach and Lester. Lester admitted later that he was trying to get comfortable with Shoppach, and that he wasn’t getting much help from the ump who Lester said was “relearning” the strike zone.

Four other pitchers combined on a three-hitter. Aaron Cook, who signed a minor league deal with the Red Sox after 10 years with Colorado, pitched a hitless sixth and seventh innings in his first appearance of spring training. He walked two and struck out one. “It felt really good,” Cook said. “First inning I was a little amped up. Felt like a little kid.”

Offensively Dustin Pedroia went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBIs, while Cody Ross continued his torrid spring with a pair of hits and two runs scored.  Below is the box score for Boston.

Game Notes

  • Sunday marked the first time that Aaron Cook and Jon Lester had pitched in the same game since Game 4 of the 2007 World Series.
  • Andrew Bailey will pitch in his first game of the spring Monday.

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Bard and Aceves Blank Rays. Red Sox win 5-0

Daniel Bard is starting to make a believer out of me. My biggest concern going into the spring was that he didn’t have good enough secondary pitches to be an effective starter. Well today he proved me wrong. Bard showcased his live fastball, a sharp slider, along with a change up and cutter. If he can locate these pitches (his walk totals are still to high) he may be a 15-20 game winner in the near future. In the game  he went 3 innings allowing only 2 hits while walking 2 and striking out one. Another pitcher who impressed was Alfredo Aceves. Aceves has matched Bard pitch for pitch all season making his case for the number 5 spot in the rotation. It is no secret that Aceves would love to start. The question is can the bullpen afford to lose both Bard and Aceves. Personally, I think it is too much to lose especially with an unproven Melancon and oft injured Bailey. Today Aceves also allowed only 2 hits and also struck out 2 without walking a batter. Matt Albers, Junichi Tazawa and Clayton Mortensen finished out off the shutout giving up only 3 more hits.

Game Notes

  • Kevin Youkilis had an RBI double
  • Clayton Mortensen’s fast start is definitely turning some heads.

Tomorrow  the Sox travel to Sarasota  to play the Orioles. Jon Lester will get the start. First pitch scheduled for 1:05 pm.

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McCLutcheon Helps Pirates Beat Sox 7-4

Andrew McCutcheon wasted no time showing that he is worth all of his new 5 year 51.5 million dollar contract. McCutcheon went 3-3 with two RBI doubles and a single. Clay Buchholz started for the Sox and went 3 innings in his 2nd spring start. Clay looked a little shaky again giving up 2 runs on 3 hits and striking out 1. Despite the 2 runs Bobby Valentine seemed satisfied with Buchholz’s outing, “Buchholz’s stuff looked sharper than last time, I thought,” Valentine said. “He executed some pretty good pitches. I thought his changeup was sharp. He’s not throwing a lot of those curveballs, but he threw a couple of them tonight that were midseason form.” Vicente Padilla, who is fighting for that 5th rotation spot, got rocked by the Pirates in his 2 innings of work allowing 4 runs on 5 hits. Offensively the Red Sox were helped by home runs by Darnell McDonald and David Ortiz.

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Sox Lose First Game of the Spring to the Cards 9-3

Josh Beckett increased his repertoire of pitches for his second spring training start, and the result was similar to his first outing. Beckett gave up two hits in three scoreless innings but the Boston Red Sox lost to the St. Louis Cardinals 9-3 on Thursday. He has allowed three hits and no runs in five innings this spring. “I threw everything I wanted to throw,’’ said Beckett, who used mostly changeups and one curveball in his first outing. “It’s getting there. It’s a work in progress.’’  Beckett faced the Cardinals `A’ lineup, with the exception of Carlos Beltran, who was out with the flu. He allowed a long double by Matt Holliday and a single to Rafael Furcal. “That’s a good lineup,’’ Beckett said. “They hit three balls hard. It’s nice kind of just gauging yourself even though it’s early on.’’ Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine was pleased with Beckett’s day. “He wanted to throw a few more curveballs, he did. A few changeups, he did,’’ Valentine said. “He did what he needed to do.’’

Jose Iglesias, who is playing outstanding baseball, drove in all of the Red Sox runs with a bases clearing triple off Cardinals reliever Mitchell Boggs. Iglesias made an impressive defensive play in the second inning, going to his right to rob David Freese of a hit. “That ball was scalded,’’ Beckett said. “He’s pretty sick.’’

Other Notes

  • Felix Doubront, who is the vying for a spot in the rotation, was shelled. Doubront went 2 innings, while giving up 3 walks, 3 hits, and 2 runs. It will be interesting to see what the Sox do with him as he is out of options.
  • New Red Sox pitcher Chris Carpenter made his Grape League season debut. Theo Epstein’s compensation was promptly smashed in his lone inning of work. The fireballer gave up 4 runs in his 1 inning. He walked 3 and gave up 2 hits. Not a great first impression.
  • One thing that stuck out about Beckett’s start was his velocity. He sat 88-92 throughout his 3 innings while not recording a strikeout.

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Red Sox Beat Twins 4-1 in “B” Game

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Like most “B” games, todays game against the Twins back at Fort Myers was about as unofficial as a game can get. While the majority of the team traveled today to take on the Blue Jays, a few members of the squad stayed back for a game that started at 10 AM and only lasted eight innings. According to Dan Shaughnessy, who seemed to be the only journalist at the game, Jose Iglesias was 2 for 4 with an RBI and a run scored, and Will Middlebrooks added a two-run double, as did Daniel Nava.

The pitching lines:

Jon Lester: 2.2 innings, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 1 K

Matt Albers: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K

Scott Atchison: 1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K

Drake Britton: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

“Lester had thrown 34 pitches in the game with two outs in the second inning, so they stopped it there. Then he came back out for the third inning and threw 10 more.”

“That’s what’s good about ‘B’ games, controlling things,” pitching coach Bob McClure said. “He was repeating the same delivery and getting a feel for all his pitches, getting comfortable.”

The following is what Lester had to say about the game:

“There’s 14 people in the stands. It doesn’t matter who’s batting, your adrenaline is still not there,” said Lester “Plus it’s 10 in the morning. We’re usually just getting warmed up out here. You can tell that with them to: their timing is off, they haven’t hit BP today unless they got here at 6 in the morning. It’s a tough setting to play a game, but I think there’s a time and a place for pitchers to do that. Today fit well for me.”

“It’s just a matter of getting that feel,” Lester said. “The changeup is such a feel pitch for me, that if I can get it to where I’m comfortable all the time with it, then it’s good. That’s the biggest thing for me.”

With as many pitchers as there are in camp, it is most likely that there will be more of these “B” games in the future. Bobby V has stressed the importance of seeing all his pitchers pitch, and he believes the best way to do so is through split squad and “B” games.

*Quotes from Pete Abraham of the Boston Globe

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Sox Beat O’s. Move to 3-0 on the Spring

Notes

  • Daniel Bard and Alfredo Aceves went 4 innings of no hit baseball. The two combined for 4 strikeouts and only 1 walk.  Both are looking to crack the rotation.
  • Catcher Ryan Lavarnway continued his hot start by collecting two more RBI’s.
  • Reliever Clayton Mortensen, who came over from Colorado in the Scutaro trade, dazzled during his 2 1/3 innings on the mound, fanning four batters and surrendering just one hit. He may surprise some people this spring and make the team.

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