Monday, April 11, 2011

Red Sox Take Rubber Match 4-0

                                                                       Sports Illustrated

Josh Beckett looked like the 2007 version of himself, as he thoroughly dominated the Yankees lineup for eight innings. The Red Sox offense couldn't get much going early, though, and it looked as if Beckett's dominance may not be rewarded. Boston was able to reach base 13 times in 5.2 innings against CC Sabathia, but were only able to put one run on the board. For the entire game, the Red Sox offense stranded 16 runners. If it weren't for Beckett's brilliant effort, the Red Sox would not have been able to pull this one out. Up 1-0 in the 7th, Marco Scutaro finally came through with the bases loaded, and the Red Sox finally had a couple of insurance runs to cushion their lead. After Beckett was able to get through 8, Francona pulled him and let Papelbon come in for the save. Beckett left the game allowing just 2 hits and walking one, while striking out 10 batters. Papelbon came in for the top of the 9th and set them down 1-2-3 with 2 strikeouts for his second save of the year.

News and Notes

  • In the bottom of the 5th, Adrian Gonzalez was hit in the hand with a fastball from CC Sabathia. He remained in the game, but he was flexing his hand and looking at it for the rest of the game. To me, he didn't look very comfortable after. I doubt this is a major injury, but I wouldn't be shocked if he got a day off tomorrow. This is the worst time for something like this to happen for someone about to sign a major extension. 

  • Speaking of extensions, the team announced on Sunday that they came to terms on a 4 year, $30 million contract extension. This is interesting because he said he was willing to go to arbitration, and also because he has struggled early in the year. Clearly, the Red Sox are not worried about his early-season shortcomings and expect him to return to the level he was at last year.

  • The struggles continues for Carl Crawford, who went 0-5 in the leadoff hole today. This box score line is a bit deceiving, however, because four of those outs were hit hard. If he continues to hit the ball like he did today, some should find a way to fall in for the hit. He had better hope so, starting the year mired in a 5-33 slump.

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