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Minor Lines 4/18/23: You Win Some, You Lose Some (While Miguel Bleis Keeps Winning)

But can the big-league team please take a page out of Portland’s playbook?

Double-A baseball Staff photo by Derek Davis/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images


W, 6-2

There were some things to love in this game, namely Wilyer Abreu’s home-run trot. After his first homer of the season, he jubilantly approached home by first pointing at, then “shushing” someone…everyone! Was it the dugout or the crowd? Who cares, we all loved it. Then he pounded his chest over the heart, then opened his arms up to try to encircle the whole world. Let’s see more of this!

Bobby Dalbec went 0-4 but got an RBI, then a walk in the 7th.

Bryan Mata didn’t appear particularly sharp, unfortunately.


L, 1-3

On a night when it was apparently so chilly that Matthew Lugo was a faceless specter at the plate, with his balaclava pulled up and his batting helmet jammed low, we were given a couple of baseball treats.

First, Emma Tiedemann and Riley Pay called a beautiful game. They conveyed the excitement and showed a gift for describing the visuals, like speed, positioning, even color. They had no ego but plenty of knowledge to spare.

Secondly, we were gifted with some flawless on-field communication and fundamentals. In the first inning, the pitcher Sharp gave a valiant effort but couldn’t come up with a ball in play. Cue the other players and watch the perimeter. Christian Koss the shortstop seamlessly charged in and barehanded the ball. Meanwhile, catcher Steven Scott hustled up the line to cover first base. That wasn’t needed because the first baseman was steady and leaned in for the throw. It was as beautiful and tightly executed as a ballet. We’re starving for this at the Red Sox big-league level.

Nick Yorke hit a homer in the 9th. The center fielder dramatically fell backwards to the ground, empty-handed, and Yorke ran so fast that the celebratory lighthouse needed more time to sink back to its murky depths behind the center field fence. Unfortunately, these theatrics weren’t enough and the Sea Dogs ended up losing what was overall a good game.

As a bonus, Tiedemann and Pay were prescient enough to discuss the players who came and went from the Sox in the Rule 5 Draft. They mentioned Andrew Politi by name, who got the win tonight in Worcester. There was a lot to appreciate here, even if it didn’t ultimately go our way.


W, 7-6 IN 10

Marcelo Mayer had a mixed bag of a night, going 3-5 at the plate but dropping a double-play ball at second in the bottom of the 9th. This kept the Grasshoppers alive long enough to capitalize on a single to left. The Drive got two in the 10th, which they needed, since the Grasshoppers came back for one in the bottom half of the inning.


L, 12-15

This game was, in a word, chaos. And not the beautiful, entrancing kind. The Hillcats got on the board in the first when a rundown distracted the Sox fielders, allowing the runner to score from third. Yikes. The Sox also needed to call to the pen in the first inning.

There was a walk to load the bases, an unlucky bounce and a single, but it got real ugly by top of the 4th when it was 9-0 Lynchburg. Then, the Sox pitcher and second baseman collided while going after the same groundball. Ouch.

Salem started to make it interesting in the bottom of the 5th. They had some assistance from Lynchburg fielding but we’ve also got to credit some savvy baserunning and nice hitting by Salem. They also took advantage of a missed pop-up that gave them another bite at the apple. Well, they bit, and they scored. But the hole they dug early was simply too deep to climb out of and they fell 12-15.

But hey: there was some good news, too, because Miguel Bleis tore it up with three hits, a double, and a stolen base on the night. He’s off to a great start.