FANTASTIC FINISH AT THE FORT
I love baseball. I love slugfests. I love pitchers’ duels. I love the game. All aspects of it fascinate me. That being said, for eight innings on Friday, I hated the game between the Sox and Jays. The so-called new and improved Red Sox defense looked sloppy and not even average. Before the ninth, Boston managed just two base hits, by the past and possibly the future of the Sox, Jason Varitek and Josh Reddick. Jon Lester did pitch pretty well although he was hurt by errors, giving up 2 unearned runs in six innings. Lester fanned 5 while walking two. It looked like a lost cause until the bottom of the ninth at City of Palms Park. It’s funny, though, how your impression of a game can change in a heartbeat.
When Boston rallied, it had a decidedly Pawtucket “flavor” to it. Catcher Dusty Brown, with wife Jordan and son Jude cheering in the stands, knocked in the game tying run and with Jeff Natale at third base (pinch runner), Tug Hulett hit an opposite field flare to score Nat and secure the 3-2, come from behind victory. The 100th consecutive sellout at the Spring training venue, sent the partisan Sox crowd into the humidity of the late afternoon, a bit weary, but satisfied.
Some of the days’ other news. The Sox signed lefthander Scott Schoeneweis. Schoeneweis, cousin of R.I. native and Senior adviser for the Red Sox, Jeremy Kapstein, won a World Series Ring with the Angels in 2002. More recently, His wife died of a drug overdose last May, leaving him to raise 4 children alone. Schoeneweis was released by the Brewers Thursday. He worked out of the Arizona bullpen in 2009. Boston also acquired infielder Kevin Frandsen from the Giants for cash or a player to be named later. Frandsen hit .140 in 50 at bats with San Francisco in ’09. Mike Lowell left the game in the first inning after fouling a ball off his knee. Prior to the game, the savvy fans at the park gave Lowell the loudest ovation during introductions. Lowell sustained a contusion on the inside of his left knee. Josh Beckett was named Opening Day starter for the Sox on April 4th against New York. Dustin Pedroia was out of the lineup for the second straight game, nursing a sore wrist. Pedey joked that he wasn’t sitting out because of the injury. “I got benched. I told Tito he looked like Corrado Soprano” (Dominic Chianese from the HBO hit series The Sopranos)