Red Sox Notes: Daniel Nava Showing Value Early In Boston’s 2015 Season


Apr 11, 2015

NEW YORK — No sleep. No problem. For the Boston Red Sox, at least.

The Red Sox and Yankees returned to Yankee Stadium on Saturday just hours after completing a 19-inning game that ended at 2:13 a.m. ET. Boston, which won the marathon affair, showed no ill effects of the obvious sleep deprivation in an 8-4 victory over New York on Saturday afternoon.

The Red Sox have won three straight to improve their record to 4-1. Boston also guaranteed its second series victory of the season by nailing down a win in Saturday’s middle game in the Bronx.

Although it’s very early, the Sox appear to be firing on all cylinders right now. They’re also playing with a ton of confidence, which is a testament to the work they put in during spring training.

Let’s run down some additional notes from Saturday’s action.

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— Joe Kelly provided exactly what the doctor ordered in his 2015 regular-season debut.

Kelly became only the second Red Sox starter since 2005 to hold the Yankees to one hit or less. Josh Beckett was the last Boston starter to accomplish the feat (over six innings) on June 9, 2009.

Kelly became the first Red Sox starter to limit the Yankees to one hit in the Bronx since Pedro Martinez’s famous complete-game, 17-strikeout performance on Sept. 10, 1999.

— Kelly has become somewhat of a road warrior.

The right-hander is 10-3 with a 2.96 ERA over 109 1/3 innings in 19 starts on the road since 2013.

— So, about that rotation.

The Red Sox’s starting five certainly silenced critics in their first trip through. Clay Buchholz, Rick Porcello, Justin Masterson, Wade Miley and Kelly combined to allow just eight runs over 31 1/3 innings (2.30 ERA). They also struck out a combined 34 batters.

— Daniel Nava, who made an impact Friday before being replaced in the 10th inning by Shane Victorino, reinforced his value with a two-hit, two-RBI performance.

It’s easy to see why the Red Sox refrained from trading Nava over the offseason despite their surplus of outfielders. He offers real value to Boston from the left side of the plate against right-handed pitchers.

Nava is batting .529 (9-for-17) with seven RBIs in his last six games at Yankee Stadium.

— Brock Holt also had an excellent game, which, in combination with Nava’s effort, really highlights Boston’s enviable depth. That depth could pay dividends, especially following long games like Friday’s.

— It’s way too early to panic, but Mike Napoli’s start to the season definitely supports the logic that spring training stats, in most cases, don’t mean a damn thing.

Napoli hit .400 (16-for-40) with a team-leading six homers, 11 RBIs and a 1.342 OPS in 17 Grapefruit League games. The first baseman is 0-for-17 with five strikeouts thus far in the regular season.

Thumbnail photo via Anthony Gruppuso/USA TODAY Sports Images

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