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Carl Crawford: ‘I felt like today was a good start of something’

07.03.12 at 9:35 pm ET
By

Carl Crawford

PORTLAND, Maine – Other than a significant health scare, Tuesday night’s trip to Hadlock Field was a productive visit for Carl Crawford.

The Red Sox outfielder — who his rehabbing from a strained left elbow — went 1-for-2 with two walks, flying out to left field and garnering his single by beating out a slow roller to second base.

Crawford saw a total of 22 pitches while getting a much-welcomed opportunity to face a quality of competition a bit closer to the majors.

“I felt I was able to get into a rhythm at the plate because it’s so different,” said Crawford, who also stole third and scored a run. “The balls were so far out of the zone down in Florida that you really couldn’t get nothing going. I felt like today was a good start of something.

“I drew two walks off a lefty, so I was cool with that. I didn’t put the bat on the ball as well as I would have liked to, but I was fine with the way I took pitches. I think I saw like [22] pitches today, so I was cool with that.”

Crawford will join the Sea Dogs for their road series in Manchester, N.H., Wednesday, with the next step of his rehab being decided after two games against the Fisher Cats.

The only negative emanating from the Tuesday night, four at-bat performance came in his second at-bat when he fouled a ball of the top of his right knee. Crawford immediately went to the ground, where he would stay for a few minutes while the Sea Dogs medical staff tended to the situation.

Crawford ultimately got up, returned to the batter’s box and lofted a fly ball to left, showing no ill effects from the injury the rest of the way.

“It’s one of those things where you’ll know tomorrow how it feels,” he said. “Right now it’s not as bad as it looked. It’s not too bad right now.

“I just hoped I hadn’t broken it. I hit it so hard, at the time I was just hoping everything was OK.”

Another positive for Crawford came in his ability to test the recovering left elbow, with the left fielder making a one-hop throw into second base in the first inning on Addison Maruszak’s single off the wall.

“I’ve been throwing like that down [in Fort Myers], so it wasn’t a big surprise for me to make that throw,” he said. “I’m in a position where I feel like I can make that throw. It doesn’t really hurt when I throw like that.”

After the game, with an ice pack on his elbow, Crawford was able to elaborate on his current mindset as a return to the Red Sox approaches.

“It’s been a trying time for me,” he admitted. “I’ve had to be very patient and been doing a lot of waiting and seeing what’s going to happen. At the same time, I’ve been getting healthy and I’m happy with the way I feel right now.”

As for about any expectations that he will be able to find his Tampa Bay production right out of the gate: “I definitely think I can do that. I’m working really hard to get back to that form,” Crawford said. “As of right now I definitely feel like I can do that. It’s just one of those things, you can’t worry about a lot of stuff that’s being said about you. You can’t worry about what other people think. I think I did a lot of that. I have to just go out there and be myself and that’s what I’m going to try and do this year. Pretty much don’t worry about what other people have to say.”

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