Today was the second-to-last game of spring training for the Red Sox, but with the team heading to Houston and Minute Maid Park for their final contest, it was the last time that Boston would play ball in the City of Palms Park. The team will move into a new facility next year--one that mimics Fenway's playing field from the Green Monster to the triangle in center field.
Unfortunately, the team could not send the old ballpark off with a win. A 1-1 tie would have to do.
Clay Buchholz got the start for the Red Sox, getting one last warm up in before the regular season. Things went very smoothly for Clay, who allowed just three baserunners in four innings of work. His only real trouble came in the fourth when, after walking with one out, Sean Rodriguez stole two bases on Jason Varitek and eventually scored on an Elliot Johnson single--the only hit Buchholz gave up.
The Sox, meanwhile, were having more luck getting on base, but couldn't push runs across. Dustin Pedroia singled in the first, J.D. Drew in the second, and Marco Scutaro in the third, but none of them so much as advanced to second base. It wasn't until the fourth that the Red Sox managed to score, as Adrian Gonzalez blasted his second spring homer over the wall in left, giving the Sox their only run of the day.
From there, both sides quieted down. Tim Wakefield, Matt Albers, and Dan Wheeler all had scoreless innings to end their Florida stays and most likely spring trainings on high notes (Wakefield picked up two), while the Sox added a few more baserunners but, again, failed to bring any around. With the game even at one-a-piece after nine, and nobody really in the mood to stick around any longer than was absolutely necessary, the teams called it a draw and packed up.
It's been a long wait, but we're down to just one game to go. Excited?
Everybody: Special nods to Buchholz, Gonzalez, and J.D. Drew, but we made it through a long spring with no major injuries, and with no truly egregious performances today, we can call it a successful month.
Now comes the fun part.