THIS STORY HAS BEEN FORMATTED FOR EASY PRINTING
Red Sox notebook

With popularity soaring, Nava’s grounded

By Peter Abraham
Globe Staff / June 14, 2010

E-mail this article

Invalid E-mail address
Invalid E-mail address

Sending your article

Your article has been sent.

  • E-mail|
  • Print|
  • Reprints|
  • |
Text size +

It’s fortunate for Daniel Nava that the Red Sox have today off. He needs the time to acknowledge his friends.

Nava received 140 text messages Saturday after hitting a grand slam on the first pitch he saw in his major league debut.

“It was friends and people I haven’t heard from in years,’’ Nava said. “A lot of random numbers. That was pretty cool.’’

His Facebook page contained an additional 200 messages from friends, family, and former minor league teammates. Nava also made some new acquaintances at The Capital Grille Saturday night when fans asked for his autograph while he was eating dinner with his parents.

“I was trying to sit back and let everything settle down and I couldn’t because it was running through my mind what happened,’’ Nava said.

Nava followed up his historic debut by going 2 for 4 in yesterday’s 5-3 loss to the Phillies.

The 37,230 at Fenway Park gave him an ovation when he came to the plate in the third inning. Nava grounded to shortstop in that at-bat but doubled to right field in the fifth. He batted again in the seventh inning, with a runner on first, and grounded into a double play.

Nava extended the game in the ninth, coming to the plate with two outs and a runner on second. Facing Brad Lidge, he broke his bat but delivered an RBI single to center.

There was a bit of a disappointment. Nava had hoped to meet ESPN’s Erin Andrews, who was at Fenway, but didn’t get the chance.

“Maybe next time,’’ he said.

Picked-up pace
Dustin Pedroia is emerging from his slump. He was 3 for 4 with a double yesterday and has eight hits in his last 17 at-bats, raising his average from .248 to .263.

“I’ve got a lot of at-bats. I’m going to get 650 at-bats. You try not to get too down when it’s not going good and when you’re swinging it well, you just have to try and find a way to maintain that,’’ he said.

The surge has coincided with Pedroia’s right knee becoming stronger.

“Physically I’m feeling better, which is a good thing. I’m seeing the ball better,’’ he said.

Terry Francona knew his second baseman would figure it out.

“That’s a given,’’ the manager said. “Wind him up and send him out there. He’s a great player.’’

Give it a rest
Mike Cameron and Kevin Youkilis did not play as Francona wanted to use today’s day off to give them extended breaks.

Youkilis missed Friday’s game because of back spasms and on Saturday was hit on the right elbow by Philadelphia’s Chad Durbin.

“With what’s happened this week with his back and getting plunked yesterday, it made sense [resting him] with a day off tomorrow,’’ said Francona.

Mike Lowell started at first base and was 0 for 4. Adrian Beltre hit cleanup for the first time this season.

“It was a little swollen but I’ll play Tuesday,’’ Youkilis said. “I’ll be fine.’’

Cameron, who is playing with a torn abdominal muscle, last played Friday. By sitting out yesterday, he will get three days off in a row.

“We’ve got a chance to protect him a little bit and maybe build instead of reaching for a little bit further,’’ Francona said. “I don’t think he disagreed. He wants to play, but I think he understands that we’re trying to help.’’

Cameron’s injury is such that the Sox will look for any chance to give him time off.

“All the things we’ve talked about, that we’re going to keep an eye on it, we meant,’’ Francona said.

Matsuzaka improves
A day after he was placed on the disabled list with forearm tightness, Daisuke Matsuzaka informed the coaches and trainers that the discomfort was largely gone.

After examining him, Dr. Thomas Gill did not schedule Matsuzaka for an MRI, a positive sign. He’ll try and throw tomorrow.

“They looked at him and he tested out really well,’’ Francona said. “It was very encouraging.’’

Matsuzaka was placed on the DL retroactive to June 8, the day after he last pitched. He is eligible to return June 24 in Colorado.

Josh Beckett, who hasn’t pitched since May 18 because of a bad back, played catch for the second straight day, stretching out to 90 feet.

“He feels real good,’’ Francona said.

Beckett remains at least two weeks, and likely more, from rejoining the team. Once he advances to throwing off a mound, he will need several such sessions before being cleared for a minor league rehab game.

Plateau for Wakefield
Wakefield joined Philadelphia’s Jamie Moyer (3,982) and Andy Pettitte of the Yankees (3,006 2/3) as the only active pitchers with 3,000 innings pitched. “It’s pretty special,’’ said Wakefield, who has tossed 3,004 2/3 innings. “Unfortunately we lost. Reflecting back on 3,000 innings is pretty cool. Not too many people can say that.’’ . . . Francona is 18-6 against the Phillies, the team that fired him as manager after the 2000 season . . . Bryce Brentz, one of the Sox’ supplemental first-round draft picks, agreed to terms. The outfielder from Middle Tennessee State, selected 36th overall, took a deal worth $889,200. He will be assigned to Single A Lowell once he passes a physical. The same is true of first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek, who agreed to a deal in the neighborhood of $1.4 million . . . Anthony Ranaudo, the righthander from Louisiana State taken 39th overall, has decided to play for the Brewster Whitecaps in the Cape Cod League. Ranaudo, who fell in the draft because of an elbow injury, is hoping a good performance will improve the offer he receives from the Sox.

Peter Abraham can be reached at pabraham@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @peteabe.

Red Sox Video

Follow our Twitter feeds

Red Sox player search

Find the latest stats and news on:
Youk | Beckett | Ellsbury |