Instead of Dwelling, let’s evaluate

The Red Sox lost their game to the Pittsburgh Pirates yesterday (2/26) 3-2, and they lost today’s game to the Rays 10-4. Their record may be 0-3, but instead of dwelling on the losses, at this point, it’s probably better to analyze why the Red Sox lost. 

Pittsburgh: 
Jon Lester 3.jpg
Jon Lester made the start, and in his two innings he gave up two hits, and struck out one and gave up no runs. The important thing to know about Lester right now, is that he’s working on a new pitch to add to his “arsenal”– a changeup! As a former softball pitcher, I can tell you that it’s hard enough to pitch: to find the spots, and stay in the strikezone is hard! But I can’t imagine trying to have a changeup. But if Lester can master it, or at least get a good grip on it, it would definitely benefit him in the long run, as Terry Francona pointed out. The reason that Lester didn’t do this last year was because he was still trying to find his fastball command, and that’s important as we all know. 
Takashi Saito 3.jpg
Takashi Saito, one of the Red Sox acquisitions of the offseason pitched one inning in which he gave up one hit and struck out two. That’s impressive for a guy just coming off surgery. Hideki Okajima and Wes Littleton (acquired from Texas) threw a combined two innings of perfect relief, each striking out one. 
These next three guys I have admittedly never heard of, but tomorrow (when I get my program at the game) I will be writing notes everywhere! Anyway, “Mills” and “James” did fine, not striking out anyone, but not giving up hits either. It was merely “Lentz” who gave up three runs, in the top of the ninth. 
This is what Spring Training is for. It is the time for pitchers to go out and work on their pitches, without having to worry, and to give a chance to the minor leaguers, to have a look at the future. The record itself doesn’t matter, but in a sense the statistics do. I don’t know if that makes sense. 
At the plate, my almost official project, Jeff Bailey, batted in the two runs that the Red Sox scored on a two run single (although it may have been a double, not sure). If he looks good tomorrow when I’m there, I will officially announce my first project. Nick Green and “Ambres” also got hits. 
Tampa Bay
During eighth period, I demanded my friend’s iPhone to check the score. My face dropped when I realized the score was 10-0 and I started asking rhetorical questions to my friends. ‘Why is this happening?’ I moaned. So instead of why, I should have asked what. What was happening? 
Michael Bowden 2.jpg
Michael Bowden, that pitching prospect of ours, gave up four earned runs in 1.2 innings. I’m wondering what exactly happened to him. I would now like to interview him. Maybe all that talk about him went to his head, and he “outthought himself” as I said a long time ago when I was analyzing Lester’s shortcomings in Game 3 (I think) of the ALCS. I’m beyond willing to give Bowden a second chance, in fact, let him pitch tomorrow! I want to see him!!! He needs to focus on placing his pitches, and having command of them. He may have been thinking about the future, being on the Red Sox, making the team. That’s scary. We’ll see how it goes next time. Emily, please help him! 
It did not help much that “Gonzalez” gave up another five earned runs, and the two errors didn’t help much either. In two innings, Hansack struck out four, which was very impressive, and Green had one perfect inning without any strikeouts. Charlie Zink gave up the other two runs. You may remember him from that explosive game against Texas– the one where the Red Sox scored 10 runs in the first inning (Big Papi hit two home runs). I’m pretty sure we ended up winning, but regardless, Zink was pitching. He gave up ten runs in the first inning to the Rangers too! I am almost positive that Zink is a knuckle ball pitcher. 
At the plate, Baldelli got an RBI against his former team, as did Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jed Lowrie. Nice to see Jacoby get a hit, and I hope that he plays tomorrow. 
As you guys know, I will be going to Fort Myers tomorrow. I’m heading out at 8:30 to get to the ballpark at 11 am for batting practice. I would love to get some autographs, and I have so much that I want to say to each and every player. I have tickets for the game against Northeastern University at 1:05, which is where our fellow blogger, Julia, went. And I recently got tickets to the 7:05 game against Cincinnati, which Clay Buchholz will start. 
It would make me really happy if the Red Sox got their first win tomorrow :). It would make me even happier if I got an autograph. And I will die of happiness if something even better than that happens. Do they need me to do play-by-play?? I’ll be carrying a legal pad around, writing down everything that I need. 
You guys can expect full game reports and analyses as well as scouting reports on Sunday. I’ll also share my pictures with anyone who wants them! Just send me an e-mail here, and I’ll get them right to you. 
-Elizabeth

15 Comments

Elizabeth, on the face yeah, the scores look “bad” – but I agree with you. The players we knew would do well did do well. As for the others – they did as expected. And as expected they need more experience. I am not nervous. I’m just happy that they are playing!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Spring Training is just fun I have decided. The Indians aren’t doing too great either but our starters are doing well and our relievers are working stuff out. It is fun to watch guys go out there and work through real game situations that don’t actually mean anything. Have a great time at Fort Meyers tomorrow. I am jealous. I want to go to Spring Training so bad!
Melissa
http://clemsongirlbaseball.mlblogs.com

Julia: Yes, that’s exactly what this is all about!!

Melissa: It’s like practices, that’s exactly what it is, and exactly what they need to get back in the routine. And thanks!

-Elizabeth

Sounds fun! I’m feeling a win tomorrow! Spring Training doesn’t reflect the Red Sox stats because Dice-K and other guys will training for the WBC.
Bob, http://bostonsports.mlblogs.com/

Bob: Plus, we’re giving all the minor leaguers a chance and everyone is rusty. It’s still fun.
-Elizabeth

If you see Rocco signing, go on down, he is always loves to sign for women.

By the way, the game today was a bit better than the score. Bowden just had a few pitches up in the zone and got rocked. That happens in the first couple of innings. That is why the teams put the prospects up against the big boys early in camp. It gives them a barometer of how they handle pressure and can play against great competition.

Gonzalez is just a guy who needs to use the corners more, but he is also a good budding pitcher. The first two weeks of games are basically the teams feeling out some of the young guys before the first rounds of cuts and reassignments to the minor league camp.
Nothing to worry about yet.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

Elizabeth,

They will win tomorrow and you will get an autograph. Just believe and it will be done!

Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

Look on the bright side: these games are just to see where everyone’s at after the offseason, and when the real season starts the Sox will be in usual form.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Yeah – I never put any merit in Spring Training. Everyone is just practicing. And April is a bit of a warm up, too for that matter.

Have FUN tomorrow!! Can’t wait to see your pix.

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

Rays Renegade: I didn’t see Rocco :(, but I saw plenty of others. Ah, now I see what happened with Bowden and Gonzalez. I wish I could see the games live.

Aaron: YOU WERE RIGHT!!!!!! More on that tomorrow

Caroline: Yup, you’re right, and to filter out the guys from AAA, AA and A.

Jen: Indeed it is, and I’d be happy to e-mail you the pics.

-Elizabeth

OK. I take back what I said. Buchholz pitched two scoreless innings?! Suddenly, Spring Training does matter – just a little bit more to me. LOL!

Jen
http://faithful.mlblogs.com

I giggled at the thought Red Sox lose to Pirates, but it it preseason. Go O’s!!
http://upin36011cc.mlblogs.com/

Jen: LOL. It matters but it doesn’t! Crazy right?

Orangebird: We were leading 2-0 until the ninth inning, but all is well. I hope your O’s do well, just not tomorrow :p. I really want to see them! They play in Ft. Lauderdale which is like 30 min from my house.

-Elizabeth

The Sox should give George Kottaras some legit AB’s in ST to show his stuff, because this kid can flat out hit! Saw him play in the 2004 Athens Olympics, and knew he was going to be great. I think he should be the “Catcher of the Future”. He’s the 4th Greek to play for the Sox, along with Harry Agganis (1B), Gus Niarhos (C), and Bob Chakales (P). Did I mention he’s Spartan?
http://www.projo.com/pawsox/content/sp_bb_pawsox13_08-13-08_9VB6UCG_v9.4118faf.html

Chris: I saw a bit of him yesterday, he did alright– but I’d like to see more of him. Did you see him live?? Wow, I didn’t know that those guys were Greek. Pretty cool. Being a Spartan give ‘em an edge.
-Elizabeth

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