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Red Sox 4, Cubs 2: Spring training is over

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The Red Sox were red hot this spring and now the games count

MLB: Spring Training-Pittsburgh Pirates at Boston Red Sox Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

Spring is over, you guys. The Red Sox made it through relatively unscathed, and more importantly we all made it through without going too crazy. From now on, the games are going to count, but we still have some good things to hang our metaphorical hats on based on the end of spring training. With yet another win on Tuesday, Boston finished off their spring winning 14 of their last 15 games and their 22 wins led all of baseball this spring. Prettayyy, prettayyyy, prettayyy good.

The bullpen shines again, including Craig Kimbrel

The Red Sox understandably got their regular position players out of the game relatively early, because the last thing you need is a late-game injury in the final exhibition of the year. The pitching features a lot of guys we’ll see to start the year. That includes Hector Velazquez, who started this game and will be a part of the rotation to start the season. It’s been an up-and-down — with more downs that ups recently — spring for the righty, but he ended things on a good note. Velazquez went out for four innings against the Cubs and didn’t allow a run in the start. He did allow a triple to Kris Bryant as well as a pair of singles and a walk, but Chicago didn’t sequence the action well enough to do any real damage. Velazquez also got a strikeout in the inning.

When Velazquez entered, it was Kimbrel time. The Red Sox closer, of course, missed most of spring to be with his daughter as she underwent heart surgery, but he recently returned and appeared in Tuesday’s game for his second spring warmup before the season. Kimbrel was fine the first time out, but he was vintage Kimbrel in this one. He faced only three Cubs this afternoon and struck out two of them. Kimbrel is gonna be just fine. Matt Barnes came on next, and he did the exact same thing as Kimbrel. Barnes is gonna be just fine. Marcus Walden, the most surprising member of the Opening Day roster, also faced only three batters but he only got one strikeout. What a bum. Tommy Layne had the eighth and he struggled. The southpaw got a ground out before allowing a double and a single to give the Cubs their first run of the game. After getting a strikeout in the next at bat, he had to leave the game with an injury. It’s unclear how serious it is for Layne, who figured to be part of Pawtucket’s bullpen this year. Trevor Kelley came in to finish the inning and allowed one inherited run before getting out of it. The minor-league righty got through a scoreless ninth to finish things off.

A solid final tuneup for the offense

The Red Sox offense really didn’t do anything too special in this win, but they did enough and most importantly nobody lost any limbs. The biggest swing came from a minor leaguer, in fact, when infielder Jantzen Witte smashed a solo homer in the seventh. Among the starters, both J.D. Martinez and Christian Vazquez had a pair of singles and Andrew Benintendi had a double. Nothing else notable here. It’s over. We made it.

Cherish Mookie Betts

The best player on the Red Sox didn’t have himself too notable of a game, at least in terms of performance. He was, however, mic’d up and talking to the broadcasters during the game, so the world got to see that Mookie is not only great at baseball but also just the best in general.

Give the man a lifetime deal immediately.

BOX