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Jackie Bradley Jr. Jackie Bradley Jr. Jackie Bradley Jr. Sox win 7-6

The Red Sox defeated the Phillies 7-6 Sunday afternoon, and Jackie Bradley Jr. Jackie Bradley Jr. Jackie Bradley Jr.


Many things happened in today's game--a 7-6 Red Sox win over the Philadelphia Phillies.

Brandon Workman had a decent outing on the mound for Boston, leaving pitches high in the zone but getting by well enough to get through three innings on two runs allowed. For someone who hasn't seen Triple-A yet, it's hard to complain.

The Red Sox got significant contributions from Mike Napoli (3-for-4), Will Middlebrooks (2-for-4 with a double and a rocket of an out) and Jose Iglesias (3-for-3).

Daniel Bard had a bit of a messy outing, but it wasn't really his fault so much as the defense's (and, really, the ridiculous wind can easily be blamed for that) and he did end up striking out the side. It might not have been exactly what John Farrell was looking for, and at this point it seems like he's going to be starting the year in Triple-A if only because he's one guy who actually has an option, but on the whole it wasn't a bad day.

Noe Ramirez ended up being the one Boston pitcher who really struggled, giving up back-to-back homers to Chase Utley and Ryan Howard in the eighth inning, allowing the Phillies to come back from being down 6-3 to tie the game. In the end, it was Shannon Wilkerson who managed to compensate for the single-A lefty's mistakes, knocking in Xander Bogaerts in the ninth for what would prove to be the game-winning run.

But the story of the day is Jackie Bradley Jr. Even if it's easy to argue he didn't have the best day of all Red Sox players. That's because, in the second inning, with two men on and facing Cliff Lee, Bradley went deep to left field, giving the Red Sox a 3-0 lead and putting what seems like the 30th exclamation mark on his incredible run through spring training.

It was his only hit of the day, though he would add a sacrifice fly for his fourth RBI against Lee. He also committed a bit of a defensive gaffe, being a bit overzealous in calling off Will Middlebrooks on a pop fly he really should have left to the infielders. As was, it led to an awkward last-second dodge by Middlebrooks, and a just-missed grab by Bradley. It's the sort of thing you like to see for the effort, but not so much for the execution.

Still, so far this spring when Jackie Bradley Jr. can be the story, he is the story, and today is no exception. He's the one who took Cliff Lee deep, adding to his already ridiculous performance, and putting the pressure on the front office to give him a roster spot come April 1st. 11 days are still not worth a year of free agency (and, frankly, probably not worth the greater amount of time they'd have to leave him down if he doesn't start the year in Pawtucket to save that year). But at this point you can bet that Bradley isn't going to be kept down for long. The future, as they say, is here.