Spring things: Sox 'D' getting an 'A'
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Wakefield has looked sharp this so far this spring. In his first outing against Northeastern (not exactly major league material), Wake pitched two perfect innings, striking out three. He kept the hitless streak alive against the Dodgers yesterday over three innings, fanning three. Control seemed to be an issue, however, as he went to 3-2 counts four times and walked three.
Binky jinx illustrated
Bad news bore down in camp at the bottom of the first inning yesterday, when it was announced that my new binky, Roberto Petagine (who I proclaimed would be the backup first baseman in the last blog entry), was headed back to Boston for knee surgery, missing at least a month.
According to the Globes Nick Cafardo, Sox skipper Terry Francona expects Petagine to play a little at Pawtucket when he recovers and then help Boston down the road.
Common sense reigns
While ordering a Sam Adams is always a good decision, no better decision was made on this trip than my decision to turn the car around before crossing the state for a three-hour trek to Jupiter, Fla., for Wednesdays Sox-Marlins game, which was rained out. Im sure many of the Sox who were stuck on a bus for seven hours wish someone had made that same good decision for them.
It was reminiscent of when the Sox crossed the state a few years ago for what was obviously going to be a rained-out game against the Orioles in Fort Lauderdale, only to turn around and head back to Lee County. The Sox never forgave the Birds for that forced-busing fiasco and the Orioles paid a price, having been waxed from the Sox spring schedule for a spell before being reinstated this year.
Scott Erickson looked like Roger Clemens, and a smart pickup for the Dodgers, against the Red Sox yesterday, pitching four solid innings and giving up a single run. By the time he reached the fourth inning he had struck out four Red Sox and gave up just one hit. But in that frame he left a slow curve up in the zone and Manny Ramirez hit a towering drive over the CVS canopy in left field. It was Ericksons lone mistake, as he finished with five Ks and yielded two hits to a major league Sox lineup.
The first half of yesterdays game took about an hour and 10 minutes.
As ESPNs Peter Gammons used to say about the Sox relief corps last season, there are too many guys who find bats in the sixth, seventh, and eighth innings. Maybe that will change if Embree has the heater back and Mantei can stay healthy.