Red Sox Live Blog: Hit Batsman With Bases Loaded Gives Red Sox Fourth Straight One-Run Win


Mar 9, 2011

Red Sox Live Blog: Hit Batsman With Bases Loaded Gives Red Sox Fourth Straight One-Run Win

Postgame, Red Sox 2-1: Yamaico Navarro had his left hand wrapped in ice, the result of what the team is calling a left hand contusion.

It is the second time Navarro has delivered a walk-off win. He did it with a hit the other day and this time takes one for the team.

It did look at first blush that the ball caught him in the helmet or head, but he was fortunate to get his hand up in front of his face. Now, if it got the fleshy part of the hand he should be fine.

We will have another piece on Clay Buchholz’s night on the site soon. I want to leave you tonight with a quick take in Scott Atchison.

Atchison, on some depth charts you will find, is on the outside looking in at the bullpen race. Not so sure those are accurate. He figures to have a spot on the Opening Day roster, not just because of what he did last year but because he seems to be even more comfortable this spring and goes about his work so methodically, so plainly but so effectively that it actually is a marvel at times.

Terry Francona on Atchison: “He had two beautiful innings. He just throws strikes, uses all his pitches, kinda takes the sting out of the bat. We were saying that in the second inning [he worked], he just goes out there and pounds the strike zone, works quick, lets his defense catch the ball and gets off the field. Young pitchers should watch him.

“He doesn’t blow you away with his stuff. But he hits his spots, he throws strikes, he works quick, he does everything he’s supposed to.”

Not many managers use those kinds of words for a guy who is on the outside looking in. The term I used earlier was “nondescript” to describe Atchison’s innings. I mean that as a compliment. You turn away for a moment and he’s out of the inning with some 88 mph stuff.

We will be back at it tomorrow afternoon from Port Charlotte, where Carl Crawford will make his return to play his old mates. First pitch is 1:05 p.m. and I’ll be following all the action right here.

Final, Red Sox 2-1: A pair of singles by the Ryans, Lavarnway and Kalish, set the Red Sox up nicely to start the bottom of the ninth.

After a walk to Luis Exposito loaded the bases, Yamaico Navarro was hit in the hand on a pitch up and in. Strange way to end it. We hope  Navarro is OK.

That gives Boston four straight wins, all by one run and two with walk

Mid 9th, 1-1: As Don and Jerry discussed, it had been a bit of a rough spring so far for Tony Pena Jr.

Pena had walked four and given up five hits in 2 2/3 innings entering this one. And that was all in the late innings, which in spring training means you are facing the last guys off the bench.

But Pena gets through the ninth just fine, tossing a 1-2-3 frame.

For those of you wondering, they will only play one extra inning if the Red Sox do not score here.

End 8th, 1-1: When asked about the growth of Jose Iglesias this morning, Dustin Pedroia was quick to note the dynamic shortstop’s mohawk as a sign of progress.

Of course there is so much more than that to Iglesias. We have only had the chance to see him make one real web gem this spring, but when you see him simply working out on a daily basis the hands and footwork are remarkable.

Mid 8th, 1-1: The Orioles tie things up on a sacrifice fly after Juan Carlos Linares makes a pretty nice catch down the line in left.

Sorry for the jinx there. I was typing the part about 11 straight Orioles being retired when Joe Mahoney tripled.

I’m wearing a dark grey shirt, in case anyone cares. My dance moves are limited to the coffee grinder…even during slow songs I break it out.

End 7th, Red Sox 1-0: We are flying along here at City of Palms. Randy Williams is the new Red Sox pitcher, on for the eighth.

Scott Atchison retired all six men he faced and Bobby Jenks all three that he saw. Eleven in a row set down by Boston pitching overall.

Mid 7th, Red Sox 1-0: Get up and stretch! Scott Atchison flies through the seventh to get the Sox six outs from their fourth straight victory.

End 6th, Red Sox 1-0: If this was the regular season we would be in the midst of a pretty phenomenal stretch of games. The Red Sox have played four straight one-run games (winning three) and are in another right now.

However, it’s just March 9, a much better time to watch Don and Jerry dance in their powder blues.

Mid 6th, Red Sox 1-0: So far we have heard references to booty and exploding chest hair from Jerry tonight. The boys are in rare form.

Scott Atchison, meanwhile, is in his usual form, working a completely nondescript but quick top of the sixth.

Building on the Buchholz note from before, he added how he has been talking to Josh Beckett and John Lackey about being able to focus on preparation during the spring rather than winning a job. The starters on this team are incredibly tight, and we keep hearing stories of how they share tidbits here and there to get one another moving along.

End 5th, Red Sox 1-0: While away, Bobby Jenks struck out a pair in a 1-2-3 inning. Keeping true to form, two Red Sox whiffed in a quick bottom of the fifth.

Scott Atchison is now on for Boston. Jose Iglesias is at short. Luis Exposito is your new catcher. Ryan Kalish is in right.

Clay Buchholz felt pretty good about his outing. He was behind several hitters and got hit hard at times, but welcomed the chance to pitch through some jams to get ready for the regular season.

One interesting note on Clay. He was asked about his mindset right now as opposed to this time last year, when he had a succession of rough outings to seemingly put his spot in the rotation in jeopardy. He is overjoyed that he can not have to worry about that anymore.

“This is what I’ve been waiting to do the last two years,” Buchholz said.

8:20 p.m.: Off to hear from Clay Buchholz. Back soon.

End 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Bobby Jenks is walking on to replace Clay Buchholz, who gave up four hits and struck out three in four scoreless innings.


Jenks has worked two innings so far in the spring.

Don and Jerry’s shirts are powder blue. Jerry said they wear them to match the color of Don’s eyes.

Mid 4th, Red Sox 1-0: Jerry said it before I could (but he’s mic’d up and I’m just talking to myself so it wouldn’t matter anyway) that the exact fundamentals work the Red Sox performed today came into play in the fourth.


Daniel Nava got to the ball quickly in left on a double by Josh Bell and fired a strike to cutoff man Marco Scutaro to hold a runner at third. Nava’s arm has helped cut down a pair of runners already this spring. He plays a pretty solid outfield.

The play helped Clay Buchholz work around a single and a double. His last pitch of the inning was his 56th, which will do it for him. The target this round of starts for the rotation has been 55, either all on the mound or some on the mound and the rest in the pen.

Buchholz has not been scored upon in nine innings this spring.

End 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: A one-out single for Marco Scutaro goes nowhere in the third, but we at least got some amusement out of Jerry’s observations on the Dancing with the New Stars video that will be coming your way in the fifth.

Good stuff.

Mid 3rd, Red Sox 1-0: Dustin Pedroia talked to reporters earlier today and discussed his need to find his timing, both offensively and defensively.

Everything seemed intact on the first out of the third. Charging hard toward the mound, Pedroia made a nice throw on the run.

Jed Lowrie made a similar play at third for the second out and Clay Buchholz picked up his third strikeout to finish the frame. Buchholz will throw another inning.

As it is often described, the trip across the state that Don and Jerry are discussing consists almost exclusively of views of orange trees and prisons, the staples of the Floridian lifestyle.

Sorry for having my pen in my mouth on that live shot. They caught me off guard a bit. Plus, like the taste of plastic, especially Crowne Plaza plastic.

End 2nd, Red Sox 1-0: J.D. Drew is beginning to settle in after a quick bout with the flu. He drew a pair of walks, as is his custom from time to time, in Tuesday’s win over Houston and he hammers a solo shot into the wind to start the scoring in this one.

Jason Varitek followed with a double to left to improve to 4-for-9 (.444) this spring. He has had some nice at-bats against right-handers this season. Figures to face lefties a bit more during the year with Jarrod Saltalamacchia getting in there against righties, but it won’t be so cut and dry.

Nice to see Tek swinging the bat well early on.

A walk to Daniel Nava with two outs gave the Sox a pair of runners, but Drew Sutton hit into a 4-6-3 double play.

Mid 2nd, 0-0: Just as Don and Jerry discuss the drills (cutoffs, relays, etc.) that the Sox conducted on the field this afternoon, we see a situational play handled very well by shortstop Marco Scutaro.

With Orioles catcher Jake Fox on third and one out, Scutaro charged a chopper and threw home in stride to nail Fox.

Fox had one of a handful of good swings against Clay Buchholz fastballs in the inning. He worked a 3-1 count and then hammered a double into left. Fox has been on a tear this spring in his pursuit of a reserve role, likely as the backup to Matt Wieters, although he can play some other positions.

Fox is hitting .417 (10-for-24) after the double.

To answer Jordan’s question in the comments section, Mark Reynolds was in the lineup when these two teams met Saturday in Sarasota. He did strike out once with runners on. He has six Ks in 20 at-bats this spring.

So there’s some Baltimore notes for you guys. We’ll probably stick with the Sox going forward.

End 1st, 0-0: David Ortiz gives it a ride with two outs and nobody on in the first but Randy Winn is able to track it down in front of the wall in left-center field.

We noted before that Ortiz has owned Baltimore starter Ryan Drese, although Drese hasn’t pitched in the majors since 2006.

Mid 1st, 0-0: A solid start for Clay Buchholz, who needs 12 pitches to retired the side, striking out two.

Buchholz was among 15 Red Sox players who agreed to one-year contracts Tuesday. There has been talk that Buchholz is a candidate to get a contract like Jon Lester and others before him which gobbles up some arbitration and free agent years. Don’t be surprised to still see such a deal made down the road. Buchholz will be eligible for arbitration next offseason.

To build on the point made by Don and Jerry, Adrian Gonzalez really has looked the part these past few days. He has looked very impressive going the other way, but has also scared a few workers beyond the wall in right who were shocked at the distance of a few of his shots down the line.

6:35 p.m.: Don and Jerry are in a jovial mood this evening, so expect some good lines throughout this one.

A couple of things to look out for tonight.

Clay Buchholz has yet to allow a run in five innings this spring. Not that the results matter so much at this point, but he just has a different look to him this year than last, when he was still technically fighting for a spot in the rotation at this point.

As mentioned earlier, this is the first time Dustin Pedroia has played three straight games. He turned very well on a few balls yesterday, even though some turned into outs. He is not far from being back to the guy that was on his way to another spectacular year before the broken foot last June.

To my knowledge, Jed Lowrie has not played third base very much this spring. Beyond shortstop he may get most of his time there, simply due to the fact that the club has flexibility with Kevin Youkilis (even though nobody wants to move him). Lowrie may actually get some time there while Youkilis is the DH, even if there is no moving Adrian Gonzalez from his spot.

Finally, and it may not mean much for the 2011 season, keep an eye on Che-Hsuan Lin in center field. He is an outstanding defender with a very good arm. Something to watch if you want a glimpse of one of the kids on the farm.

5:56 p.m.: There is a slight chance of rain later on tonight, but there should be no problem getting the game in before the storms roll in.

As I say that there is a cloud beyond right field that looks rather ominous. It is massive, tinged with grey and has brought on a sudden drop in temperature and an increase in wind.

We will keep an eye on that, and you can keep an eye on my bald head from the NESN booth, to where I am heading in a few minutes.

I will listen to Don and Jerry along with you and build off some of what they have to offer. Bumped into Don a little earlier and he said he will try to bring it tonight.

4:41 p.m.: Ladies and gentlemen, yooouuuuuur Baltimore Ooooorioles:

Matt Angle, RF
Randy Winn, LF
Felix Pie, CF
Jake Fox, C
Josh Bell, 3B
Brendan Harris, 2B
Brandon Snyder, DH
Joe Mahoney, 1B
Robert Andino, SS

3:48 p.m.: As the Red Sox perform team-wide relay and cutoff drills (my favorite  when I was a good-field, no-hit second baseman in high school) we have a few pregame notes to pass on.

Mike Cameron (right knee tendinitis) will DH tomorrow in Port Charlotte. Terry Francona said he could’ve played today. As I type this Cameron just threw home on the run from right field. He is a little gimpy though.

Today marks the first time Dustin Pedroia has played in three straight games, one of those small milestones you look for when recovering from an injury.

Pedroia told us in the clubhouse that he is “right on pace” with everything and just needs to get his timing — both offensively and defensively — to be at 100 percent. It’s coming at the plate.

“The last three games I’ve hit every ball on the barrel, which is a great feeling,” Pedroia said.

“I can see that offensively,” Francona said when asked. “I was actually encouraged the other day, you could see the bat speed getting a little better. He swung at a high fastball, hit it to left field. Two days before he swing at that same pitch and missed it.

“Pedey’s such a competitor he can’t take making outs, even in spring training. He sat here for two innings, he was suicidal. That’s just part of what makes him tick, but I think you can have days where you swing too early.”

Francona was also asked whether Jonathan Papelbon was more reserved this spring, perhaps an indication of him feeling threatened by the presence of Bobby Jenks and Daniel Bard. In a word, no.

“He doesn’t need to,” Francona said of Papelbon possibly looking over his shoulder. “I told him he doesn’t need to. Doesn’t need to.”

2:41 p.m.: Just a reminder that tonight’s meeting with Baltimore will be brought to you live by NESN.

Yours truly will be blogging from the booth and taking some tidbits from Don and Jerry. Also, the plan is to have Jed Lowrie mic’d up for this one.

Lowrie is batting sixth and playing third base. Here is the Red Sox lineup against the O’s:

Marco Scutaro, SS
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
David Ortiz, DH
J.D. Drew, RF
Jason Varitek, C
Jed Lowrie, 3B
Daniel Nava, LF
Drew Sutton, 1B
Che-Hsuan Lin, CF

The one thing we were looking for on the lineup card was the name of Mike Cameron. He has been bothered by right knee tendinitis and was a possible to return as a DH tonight, but apparently he will get another day or so, unless we see him in the later innings.

8 a.m.: Clay Buchholz will pitch under the lights at City of Palms Park on Wednesday night when the Red Sox take on the Baltimore Orioles.

Buchholz has been superb early in the spring. He has allowed just one hit in five scoreless innings. Bobby Jenks is among those slated to follow Buchholz on the mound.

For the second time this spring the live blog will be conducted from inside the NESN booth with Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy. First pitch is 7:05 p.m.

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