Thursday, April 24, 2014
Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.
Follow his thoughts on the Boston Red Sox and Portland Sea Dogs on Clearing the Bases
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On Monday, Clay Buchholz lasted 2 1/3 innings. On Tuesday, Jon Lester made it through 4 2/3 innings.
The Red Sox could use a longer start from John Lackey tonight against the Yankees. Trouble is, Lackey has also been struggling. After giving up two earned runs total in his first two starts (13 innings), he has allowed 12 runs in his last two starts (only 11 innings).
"We've seen a couple of things we can address or adjust," Red Sox manager John Farrell said. "We won't get into specifics."
Farrell will also likely look to Pawtucket for pitching help. The Red Sox planned on activating Shane Victorino today, but now may go for a pitcher from Triple-A (Allen Webster?). To make room, Boston is likely to demote slumping Daniel Nava to Pawtucket.
Boston catcher David Ross laughed when told that the upcoming Red Sox-Yankees series is almost a letdown.
“Right. That is secondary to what went on this weekend,” Ross said, referring to the celebration of the Boston Marathon and several remembrances to last year’s bombings.
For a look at Monday from a Red Sox perspective, see today’s column.
As for the Yankees-Red Sox, tonight’s first game of the series features Jon Lester (2-2, 2.17) vs. Masahiro Tanaka (2-0, 2.05). Not a bad way to start.
Too bad the Portland Sea Dogs had a third straight game postponed (this time in New Britain), because the way the Red Sox organization starters were going, Keith Couch would likely have pitched a gem (he goes tonight, as part of a doubleheader).
Boston beat the White Sox 3-1. Jon Lester was perfect through 16 batters and lasted eight innings (Koji Uehara returned from a shoulder scare to finish off the ninth). The story.
Pawtucket split a doubleheader, winning the first game in 11 innings. Ruddy De La Rosa (1.08 ERA) pitched six innings: 4 H 1 R, 1 BB, 5 K ... Garin Cecchini (.340) went 3-for-5 ... Heiker Meneses singled in the winning run with two outs in the 11th,
Pawtucket lost the second game 2-0 as left-hander Chris Hernandez (2.70) also went six innings: 9 H, 2 R, 1 BB, 2 K.
Jackie Bradley Jr. got the game-winning hit Wednesday night/Thursday morning in Chicago. Yes, the 2-run double came against a White Sox infielder, the White Sox having run out of pitchers (a staff that allowed 15 walks on Wednesday).
And, yes, Bradley was only 1-for-6 and is batting only .244. But his defense is unmatched. So when Shane Victorino comes back off the disabled list, maybe Bradley stays with the Red Sox after all (which means either Mike Carp is designated for assignment - not an easy move - or Daniel Nava goes to Pawtucket to re-discover his stroke).
While Grady Sizemore beat out Bradley for the center field job out of spring training, Sizemore may be better suited for left (especially with Nava slumping) and Sizemore can be readily subbed out for Jonny Gomes when he needs a day off.
The Red Sox bullpen came through Wednesday/Thursday, but there has to be concern about Edward Mujica (10.38 ERA), who blew the save in the 11th. Chris Capuano (0.00), meanwhile, was a sterling pick-up by GM Ben Cherington.
The Red Sox are in Chicago tonight to face the White Sox. It snowed there last night and game-time temperature is supposed to be 36 degrees.
The good news is that both Dustin Pedroia (wrist) and Koji Uehara (shoulder) appeared to have checked out OK and will not have to go on the disabled list.
Outfielder Shane Victorino, who is on the DL (strained hamstring), is expected to start a rehab assignment sometime this week. The Sea Dogs are home today and Wednesday, before heading to New Britain, Conn.
A few Pawtucket hitters are hoping to get hot after slow starts. Bryce Brentz (.195) had three hits, including his second home run ... Ryan Lavarnway (.209) also had three hits ... Alex Hassan (.256) went 2-for-4.