With popularity soaring, Nava’s grounded
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.
“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.’’
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.
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.