Back In Boston
Adrian Gonzalez Won't Need X-rays -- Alex Speier, WEEI
The Sox had a scary moment in last night's game when Adrian Gonzalez got hit in the hand by a CC Sabathia pitch. The resulting crack was so loud that initially the ESPN crew even speculated it had hit the bat. The good news is that Adrian Gonzalez says he wasn't feeling any pain, and doesn't feel X-rays are necessary:
"I don’t think it’s broken or anything. I was able to swing the bat. I’ll be fine," said Gonzalez. "Every time you get hit, especially on the bone, you’re always worried. But there isn’t any pain, just a little bit of tingling and numbness. I think I’ll be alright."
While the "tingling and numbness" isn't exactly encouraging, if it was just temporary, then everything should be fine.
Explaining The Interference Call -- Tim Britton, Providence Journal
In the most controversial call from last night's game, Kevin Youkilis was not only called out on interference for sliding wide of second base to break up a double play, but the Red Sox' runners were called back, taking away a run. Tim Britton explains why:
It's all under Rule 2.00(a) in the Major League Baseball Rulebook:
(a) Offensive interference is an act by the team at bat which interferes with, obstructs, impedes, hinders or confuses any fielder attempting to make a play. If the umpire declares the batter, batter-runner, or a runner out for interference, all other runners shall return to the last base that was in the judgment of the umpire, legally touched at the time of the interference, unless otherwise provided by these rules.
Rule 2.00 (Interference (a)) Comment: In the event the batter-runner has not reached first base, all runners shall return to the base last occupied at the time of the pitch.
While the letter of the law seems to support umpire Mark Wegner, between the fact that the Yankees completed the double play and how rarely this sort of thing is enforced, it's hard to understand why he felt the need to throw himself into the game so completely.
Jon Lester: Buchholz Deal 'Good For Both Sides' -- Rob Bradford, WEEI
One Man who knows plenty about signing a $30 million extension is Jon Lester, who beat Clay to the punch by a couple of years. Given his experience, he can certainly understand why both sides have plenty to be happy about when it comes to such an extension:
"We've got the core four guys for the same amount of time. It's good for both sides," said Lester of Buchholz' deal, which also includes two team options. "You don't have to worry about that spot anymore. It's one thing they have to worry about. It's one less thing he wants to worry about. He's financially set for the rest of his life."
Extension Reflects Coming Of Age For Clay Buchholz -- Alex Speier, WEEI
Alex Speier muses that Clay Buchholz' deal isn't just a result of his great results in 2010, but also a sign of his growth on and off the field:
It seemed no coincidence that Buchholz' on-field success in 2009 and 2010 coincided with those developments in his career and life, and it is certainly no coincidence that the Sox were willing to commit to him on a long-term deal upon seeing his maturation as a person and player.
"Clay has certainly earned our trust. He's developed a tremendous amount as a player and as a person, from the time that he signed here out of junior college," said Epstein. "Now he's a star pupil on the shoulder program. He gets his work in every day. He's really settled in with his family life and on the field. He's really become a trusted guy in this organization. ... We really trust him going forward. There are no guarantees in this game, but you want to be on the right people."
Carl Crawford Not Worried About Slump -- Barry M. Bloom, MLB.com
More than a few people around these parts are quick to jump on Carl Crawford for his slow start to the season, but Crawford is taking everything in stride:
"If I had a good first couple of weeks I'd probably be feeling a little better," he said. "That's normal to be feeling good when you're playing good. I'm just going through one of these streaks. You go through something like this during the middle or end of the season and nobody says anything. It's a lot tougher when it happens early. That's the way I'm trying to look at it."
I don't blame Crawford at all. While he looked awful to start the season, that's slowly changed to the point where he's just looking unlucky. The flyout just short of the monster and the hard hit groundouts all point to that, and the numbers back it up: Carl Crawford will not have a .161 BABIP come season's end.
Around The AL East
Angels 3, Blue Jays 1 -- Tom Dakers, Bluebird Banter
Josh Beckett was dominant against the Yankees, but it was Jered Weaver who stole the show up in Toronto:
Offensively, it took us 5 innings to get a hit and we only had 4 on the day. We did take 4 walks but Jered Weaver also struck out 15 Jays in his 7.2 innings. We did have chances with runners on, but when you only get 4 hits, you have to figure few of them drive in runs.
Rangers 3, Orioles 0 -- Eat More Esskay, Camden Chat
This is the first series loss of the year for the Orioles, and though the temptation is surely there to fly off the handle into early 2010 levels of despair after the myriad injuries, disappointing performances by a couple of young starters, question marks about how to fill the rotation out this week, and with the team managing to score just one run in the final 24 innings of the series, let's not go too crazy after being beaten by the defending American League champions, who still figure to contend strongly this season as well.
As the Red Sox prepare to battle the other most disappointing team to start the year, they'll actually have the advantage in momentum, as the Rays are looking a lot like the Red Sox at their 2011 worst:
If I could take an amalgamation of all the recaps of the Rays losses thus far, the result would be pretty accurate for today's game. The Rays' pitching allowed too many runs and their offense scored one run on four hits, the fifth time in their nine games that they've done that. Rinse and repeat
A Review of Rays Plate Discipline After One Week -- Jason Hanselman, DRaysBay
Some scouting in advance of the Rays - Red Sox series. In summary, just throw it in the zone and let them miss:
So the Rays are taking a lot of pitches, especially out of the zone, but they're also seeing a ton of strikes, especially first pitch. When they do make up their mind to swing, they're missing everything, in and out of the zone. The lack of contact and high rates of whiffing go hand in hand, but they are no friend of mine. It's pretty ugly, and though I thought we were swinging too much as a team, apparently we're not swinging enough.