Tuesday, March 11, 2014
While John Lackey's performance may have been the talk of Sunday's Red Sox win, the play of Daniel Nava continues to scream for attention. He has gone from an interesting story to a major league regular. Nava is not just filling in when there is a vacancy.
Manager John Farrell said he does not hesitate to put Nava in the lineup these day. Nava is one of several reasons why the Red Sox are off to such a great start. But there are some disclaimers to that start. See today's column.
Very good story by Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal on Alfredo Aceves. While Aceves "earned" his demotion to Pawtucket, sometimes his comments can be taken out of context (and he was criticized in this space as well). But as MacPherson reminds us, English is Aceves' second language. He does not always say things clearly.
That said, here's hoping he regains his focus in Pawtucket (two balks, failing to cover first base on a grounder, and a bad throw to home needed no translation).
In Pawtucket, the PawSox got back-to-back-to-back home runs on Sunday by Mark Hamilton (his second), Bryce Brentz (third) and Dan Butler (second).
The home runs came against a Columbus reliever. Daisuke Matsuzaka started for Columbus (3 IP, 2 K), but left after three innings with a "left side injury."
Portland's Drake Britton (4.44 ERA) won on Sunday despite giving up three runs in the first inning. Britton re-ground and pitched six innings (6 H, 4 R, 2 BB, 7 K) ... Reliever Chris Martin (0.0 ERA) continues to impress. He pitched another scoreless inning (1 BB, 2 K).
Michael Almanzar (.322) hit his fifth home run for Portland. He went 2-for-3 with two walks. Numbers: .372 OBP, ,575 slugging percentage (.947 OPS) ... catcher Christian Vazquez has a hot bat. He went 2-for-4 with a walk. He is now batting .271 with a .419 OBP ... first baseman Travis Shaw (.293) went 2-for-5. His OBP is .449.
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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