Friday, March 7, 2014
BOSTON — Closer Joel Hanrahan is closed for business for the time being. Red So manager John Farrell said Hanrahan will be out “for the next couple of day” as he deals with a sore right hamstring.
Hanrahan said he tweaked the hamstring during his second outing in New York. He experienced a similar problem last year and was able to comeback after a brief rest. Hanrahan said he was hoping for a similar result, especially after a day off and a rained-out game on Friday.
Worrying about the hamstring has hampered Hanrahan’s ability to repeat his delivery, which leads to command problems. After walking the two batters he faced on Saturday - and getting pulled by Farrell in the ninth inning - it became apparent that Hanrahan needed some official time off.
Needing a new closer for a short while, Farrell did not have to look far. Andrew Bailey, signed to be the closer last year until a thumb injury, is readily available. Bailey has made five scoreless appearances this year as a set-up man.
“In a situation like this, to have an Andrew Bailey-type reliever is a luxury,” Farrell said.
In other notes: when you look at the lineup below you will notice Daniel Nava and Stephen Drew breaking up the trio of Mike Napoli, Will Middlebrooks and Jarrod Salatalamacchia. That not only gives Boston some lefty-righty flexibility, it breaks up three batters who strike out often. Napoli, Middlebrooks and Saltalamacchia have combined for for 36 of the team’s 83 strikeouts.
In the minors, Jeremy Hazelbaker (.333) hit his fourth home run for Pawtucket ... David Ortiz, who went 1-for-4 in his rehab appearance Saturday, is back in the Pawtucket lineup Sunday ... Jeremy Kehrt gets the start for the PawSox.
Portland won in extra innings Saturday. While reliever Daniel Bard gets the attention (he allowed an unearned run on two hits and a walk in one inning), reliever Chris Martin continues to impress. He put in his third three-inning scoreless appearance (1 H, 1 BB, 2 K) ... Brock Huntzinger got his third save ... Travis Shaw (.320) was 3-for-5 with two doubles ... Connecticut native Matt Barnes pitches in New Britain today.
Thanks for reading. Today's column on Jon Lester is also up. (Twitter will be active during today's game: @ClearTheBases)
Now for the Sox lineup:
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Shane Victorino RF
Dustin Pedroia 2B
Mike Napoli 1B
Daniel Nava DH
Will Middlebrooks 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Jarrod Saltalamacchia C
Jackie Bradley Jr. LF
(Clay Buchholz P)
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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