Post-Game Notes: Twins 7, Red Sox 2
|03.24.10 at 12:41 am ET|
FORT MYERS, Fla. — It was a bad day of baseball for the Red Sox, but it could have been a lot worse.
The Red Sox lost to the Twins, 7-2, at Hammond Stadium, and have now lost nine of their last 10 Grapefruit League contests. The ugliness transpired early, when Clay Buchholz allowed six runs (five earned) in 1.2 innings. Buchholz noted afterwards that he had become uncomfortable on the mound once the Twins put runners on the bases, an old habit that was particularly prevalent for the pitcher during his struggles in 2008.
The Sox are hopeful that an opportunity to review the outing with pitching coach John Farrell will allow the pitcher to move forward and get on track in his final spring tuneups for the regular season.
While Buchholz’ performance was unsightly, the health of Dustin Pedroia was an even greater concern to the club after the second baseman left the game prior to the bottom of the second inning due to a mild left wrist sprain. But the threat level quickly subsided after Pedroia was examined briefly by a Twins doctor. Though Pedroia will get a precautionary X-ray on Wednesday, the problem was deemed relatively minor.
– The vigil related to Manny Delcarmen‘s velocity continued. The right-hander retired all three batters he faced in the ninth inning, two on groundballs and one on a flyout. Even so, his velocity remained in the low-90s (hitting 92 mph on the Hammond Stadium scoreboard velocity readings).
“He got them out, which is good,” said Francona. “He’s still fighting to find that balance point where he feels like he can get his legs and get his body all at the same time over a balance point. He’s flying open. He did get them out but I don’t think you saw what you’re going to see.”
Before the game, Francona said that health is not a concern for Delcarmen, and that he shows plenty of arm strength in his long toss. That, in turn, has the club convinced that his velocity readings (down slightly from the 94-96 mph in which he typically operates) are the byproduct of a search for his mechanics, rather than anything health related.
– Jonathan Papelbon turned in a scoreless inning as well. Though he allowed a double to Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer and walked a batter, Papelbon also punched out a pair of hitters in his inning of work, in the process throwing some swing-and-miss splitters.
– Buchholz’ short outing did give the Sox their first opportunity of the spring to give some of their relievers extended work. Ramon Ramirez (1.1 innings), Hideki Okajima (1.2 innings) and Daniel Bard (1.1 innings) all got a chance to pitch in multiple innings.
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