The Red Sox had a whirlwind of a day on Friday, taking home the wind and getting some strong offensive performances as well as a couple of nice showings from minor leaguers out of the bullpen. On the other hand, their starter left the game early with injury (which we already covered here) and the defense was rough all day long. Still, a win is a win and also it’s March 2 so the wins don’t even matter!
Sam Travis’ huge day leads the offense
We’ve joked a lot about Sam Travis being the best player in Grapefruit League history, but I’m becoming more and more convinced this is actually true, though I’m not at all willing to do the research required to know it for a fact. That doesn’t matter, though. What matters is that Travis is having another good spring, and he continued that in a big way on Friday. Travis started this game at first base and came to the plate three times, collecting two hits. That’s burying the lede a bit, though, because both of those hits were two-run home runs, with one coming off Bud Norris and the other coming off Sean Gilmartin. Unfortunately for Travis, he won’t have a spot on the Red Sox to start this season regardless of his spring performance. Instead, it all depends on health ahead of him on the depth chart. Travis’ big day somewhat overshadowed another big day from a more important player in Andrew Benintendi. The Red Sox starting left fielder got two at bats in this game and he smacked a home run off Norris and a double, also off Norris. Those were the only Red Sox players with multiple hits, though Tate Matheny — who got a token start against his dad Mike, the Cardinals manager — walked three times. Additionally, Blake Swihart and Steve Selsky both got on base twice with a single and a walk apiece. Also getting hits in this game were Rusney Castillo, who got a double, Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Chad De La Guerra.
The defense could have been better
Boston’s defense has had a pretty rough spring at the start, though as I’ve said before that’s sort of to be expected at this time of the year with the rust and the unfamiliarity with each other. Still, they made three errors in this game and had some other questionable plays that didn’t go down as errors. The actual E’s went to Blake Swihart, Esteban Quiroz and Ivan De Jesus Jr. The first two made throwing errors while De Jesus Jr. made a fielding error.
The pitchers weren’t great, but also not overly noteworthy
Drew Pomeranz got the start in this game for his spring debut, which we already covered earlier today. No need to go further on that. After Pomeranz, it was a whole bunch of depth options and minor-league pitchers. There were a couple of guys worth mentioning, though, starting with Justin Haley. The righty is likely the break-in-case-of-emergency starting option on the roster, and he did not pitch well. Haley allowed two runs (only one earned) in two innings on a walk, a single, a double and a triple. Roenis Elias, who is higher on the rotation depth chart, tossed a scoreless inning. Ty Buttrey may see some time in the major-league bullpen this year, and he allowed a couple of singles in a scoreless inning. That ends the list of pitchers who could realistically see major-league time this year, and you can see the rest of the pitchers in the box score.