The first road trip of the season is underway and quite honestly, it doesn’t feel like there was ever a six month intermission. The PawSox won on Saturday 8-3 as Tony Thomas had a grand slam and 5 rbi to lead the attack. Josh Reddick homered too, but seemed more proud of the foul ball he hit on the prior pitch. It smashed the windshield of Buffalo General Manager, Mike Buczkowski’s car, parked in his reserved parking place at Coca Cola Field. On the van ride over to the park Sunday, Reddick laughed about the time he hit a foul ball at Fenway, destroying “some reporters'” laptop. Turns out the reporter was my good friend, Joe McDonald, who writes for ESPN Boston.
Manager Arnie Beyeler was pleased with his teams’ start, especially what he saw on the mound the first three days, and I’m sure what he saw on Sunday too. “I think that’s going to a strength for us. Atch (Scott Atchison) did a great job for us, especially on short notice. (Atchison got a spot start on opening day when Alfredo Aceves was promoted to Boston) To do that with no notice was outstanding. He did a great job. Seeing our guys throw so far, I think maybe that pitching will be one of our strengths.” For his efforts, the veteran righthander seemed completely comfortable, working 4 and two thirds innings. “It felt good. It felt exciting to be in there. I know it was kind of last minute but it was fun to start on Opening Day. Iwas joking earlier, but I’ve been at this for 13 years now and it was my first opening day start. You know, it was fun, it was a good outing. It wa a good win for us.”
Thomas made a fabulous first impression on Saturday. The infielder acquired from the Cubs for pitcher Robert Coello, exploded offensively, after spending the opening homestand on the bench. His manager was pleased. “His numbers dictate that he’s been a solid hitter throughout his career, so we’ll keep throwing him in there and give him opportunities. He sure made the best of them yesterday (Saturday)”.
On Monday, for the second straight game, a former PawSox pitcher will start against his old team. Casey Fossum (2002) gets the nod against Brandon Duckworth. On Sunday, it was Boof Bonser (2010) opposing Andrew Miller.
Hyder and Hoard and their posse have hit the ground running, foodwise. We have had our Italian “fix” from “Chef’s”, a legendary, local eatery. They prove that everything tastes better covered in cheese. Caesar salad, followed by veal and spaghetti (both “parmed”) absolutely fantastic. You could plunk “Chef’s” right down into the middle of Federal Hill in Providence, and it would fit in perfectly.
Congratulations to 11 year old Bridget Johnson. The daughter of former Pawox manager, Ron Johnson, now the Red Sox first base coach. Bridget threw out the ceremonial first pitch at Fenway Sunday, prior to the series finale against the Yankees. Bridget lost her leg in an accident last summer when the horse she was riding, was struck by a car.