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Posts Tagged ‘Nick Johnson’

I think we’re not on Opening Day anymore.  Although if we had to lose one game in this series, I’m glad it wasn’t that one.  But it would’ve been good to put the Evil Empire in their place early so they don’t walk around thinking they can waltz into first place just because their laundry says “New York.”

Am I annoyed that we lost? Clearly.  We lost by two; I was gunning for a sweep.  We all were.  We can still take the series, though, which will put us ahead of them anyway.  Although it’s important to remember to fight the urge to look at the standings until at least seven games into the season.  The only reason why I’m annoyed and not fuming that we lost to the Yankees is because it’s the second game of the season, and as much as I absolutely can not stand conceding anything to New York, I have to take a step back and wait for us to officially get our footing for 2010.

Youk hit a sac fly in the first to score Ellsbury, who undoubtedly was still smarting from his nonexistent performance on Sunday.  He went 0 for 5 on Opening Day, and that probably festered in his mind during the day off yesterday.  Not a great way to head into an off day, unless it riles you up, which it appears to have done, somewhat.  He went two for five with a double and a steal last night and looked like a pro in left field.  Seems to like a shallow left, which is a relief; many visitors play deep because they don’t know the angles well.

Victor Martinez homered in the third inning.  The ball just flew off his bat and eventually bounced into the bullpen.  Brought two runs in.  Say hello to the first of many in 2010! I’m pretty sure he’s our hittingest catcher since Carlton Fisk.  He also doubled in the fifth for another RBI, which proves my point.  That double was off the wall.  Pedroia was on first at the time and was watching it as he approached second base; before you know it, he was running across home for another run.  Home field advantage said he knew that ball was off the wall halfway through its trajectory, so he went for it.  So that made V-Mart two for three with three RBIs on the night.  Not bad for the second game of the season.

Beltre went two for four with a steal.  He is on an absolute tear.  Naysayers lose even more points.

I would like to point out that Teixeira was not safe in the top of the fifth.  He was out.  Youk kept his foot on the bag and the ball was in his glove before Tex even got there.

No, Papi didn’t get any hits last night, but at least he still prompts pitcher-catcher conferences.  Everyone needs to just relax.  He’s 0 for 7, not 0 for 107.

Lester exited after five.  Four runs on five hits with three walks and four K’s, and he was done.  Ninety-four pitches, fifty-three of them for strikes.  As usual, about half were four-seams, topping out at ninety-eight miles per hour.  He didn’t throw any two-seams but relied on his sinker and curve instead, with some changes and cutters and one slider thrown in.  Definitely not his best outing.  We’ve seen much better.  What’s interesting is that only seven of his pitches were thrown for swinging strikes.  It’s not that unusual for a reliever to have few of those, but for a starter, that seems pretty low.  I would guess it’s because he puts a lot of movement on most of his pitches, but also the speed of his pitches.  He cuts most of his fastballs, which he still throws in the high nineties.  I mean, Beckett on Sunday threw only one swinging strike.  At this point, though, I’d say that’s a function of the fact that we’re only two games into the season and the batters have yet to assume their usual bravado at the plate.  It’ll be interesting to see if that continues.  Lester doesn’t usually have a good April anyway.  Although as usual I was hoping he’d break that trend.

Delcarmen did not allow a run, barely.  Neither did Bard.  Okajima allowed one unearned and took the loss.  He was about to work himself out of the inning when, with two on and two out, Jeter grounded to short and Scutaro made a throwing error to first and loaded the bases.  Johnson worked a bases-loaded walk.  And that was the beginning of the end because it was the end of the tie.  We acquired Scutaro specifically to avoid those exact situations.  Oh, the irony.  Atchison let Cano take him yard.  And that was the ballgame.

Ladies and gentlemen, Beckett is officially locked through 2014.  At four years and $68 million, that’s a sweet deal.  Beckett isn’t one for free agency; he just wants to play where he’s happy, and he’s happy here, so what does it matter if he could’ve made a few extra million dollars? This isn’t the first time he’s signed an extension with us.  He’s loyal, he has a crazy work ethic, and he’s perfect for this town.  It’s good for the game to have people like that.

So our pitching was down, our hitting was comparatively down, and our defense was apparently down.  All three of our strengths, the three strengths that all baseball teams are supposed to have, were down.  When I put it like that, of course we lost.  I guess technically we can’t actually win ‘em all (although that would be incredible as well as history-making and record-breaking).  Again, let’s remember that it’s only the second game of the season.  Let the entire rotation get at least two games under its belt, and then the real parsing can begin.  For now, we’ll settle for a series win.  Tonight is important, because tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is when Lackey toes the Fenway rubber for the first time in his Boston career.  He starts opposite Pettitte.  This is most definitely not a game you want to miss.

Boston Globe Staff/Jim Davis
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