In what was no great surprise, the Boston Red Sox defeated both the Northeastern Huskies and Boston College Eagles today by a combined score of 21-1.
While there's no comparing exhibition games against college teams to regular season games, it was great to see the Sox back on the field playing baseball for the first time since they were unceremoniously swept out of the playoffs by the Angels.
While spring training performances are rarely indicative of much, there were a few noteworthy events and (for the televised second game) observations, especially regarding the prospects. that got to share the field, some for the first time, with the big leaguers.
In the first game against Northeastern, the Sox had no problems scoring. A David Ortiz home run highlighted a 15-run, 20-hit explosion by the Sox. Other notable performances came from AA catcher Luis Exposito (2-4, 2B), A+ center fielder Che-Hsuan Lin (2-4, and robbed of a 3rd hit), AA infielder Ryan Khoury (2-3), and AAA infielder Gil Velazquez (3-4).
Meanwhile, the pitching staff held the Huskies in check. Casey Kelly struck out 2 batters and induced a groundball for a perfect first, requiring only 10 pitches to do so. Manny Delcarmen gave up 1 of the 2 Huskie hits in the second, but induced a double play to avoid any damage. Adam Mills, Felix Doubront, Dustin Richardson, Ramon A. 'the other' Ramirez and Robert Manuel (who allowed the other 3 Huskie baserunners of the night) would combine to hold Northeastern scoreless.
The BC Eagles fared rather better than the Huskies, but still fell 6-1. Pedroia and Youkilis got things going early, as the first baseman singled in Petey to open the scoring in the first. But the most interesting thing about this game was getting to see some of the Sox top prospects in action.
The most impressive performance of the night came from Jose Iglesias, who turned on the first pitch he saw, sending a line drive into left field for a 3-RBI double. The young shortstop then showed good discipline by laying off 5 straight balls (the umpire had a ridiculous outside corner all night long, and gave the pitcher 2 strikes on a 3-0 count) before making good contact, lining out to the second baseman. For a guy with a questionable offensive game, Iglesias looked just fine. He didn't get any interesting opportunities in the field to display his glove, but there's little question about his ability there.
Ryan Kalish managed to hit two fly balls, which is nice to see since putting the ball in the air instead of driving it into the ground was a big part of his having a breakout year in 2009. Obviously it'd be ridiculous to read too much into 3 plate appearances, but it was still nice to see. Josh Reddick showed no signs of the hacking ways he displayed in his stint in the majors last year. And Yamaico Navarro made a nice play on a ball deflected by pitcher Randor Bierd to finish the game.
On the mound, Boof Bonser, Michael Bowden, and Junichi Tazawa retired the first 9 batters in order before Kyle Weiland allowed a hit and a walk in the 4th. Kris Johnson had worse problems, allowing a run on a pair of hits in the 5th. Fabio Castro and Randor Bierd shut down the Eagles for the final 2 innings, giving the Sox the sweep.