Jackie Bradley wasn’t nervous, but he was pretty good
|04.01.13 at 7:38 pm ET|
NEW YORK ‘ Nobody would have blamed Jackie Bradley if he had some butterflies while patrolling left field at Yankee Stadium Monday.
‘I wasn’t nervous,’ Bradley said after the Red Sox’ 8-2 win. ‘I’m never really nervous to tell you the truth. I was ready. I was excited. Just trying to do whatever I can to help the team win. I’m a pretty relaxed guy.’
The 22-year-old ‘ who turns 23 April 19 ‘ certainly didn’t appear to possess any anxiety. He did what he had done in spring training, and throughout a brief minor league career before that.
Bradley finished his first major league game going 0-for-2 with three walks, two runs and an RBI. The outfielder saw a total of 26 pitches during his five at-bats.
‘It was exciting. Big crowd. Enjoying every second of it,’ he said. ‘Taking it all in.’
The two aspects of Bradley’s game that perhaps jumped out the most were the left-handed hitter’s plate discipline and ability in the outfield.
Starting with his first at-bat against CC Sabathia, in which he worked a seven-pitch walk, Bradley showed he was going to carry over his game into the majors, no matter how big the stage.
‘It’s very good, being able to see that many pitches, work the count,’ said Bradley, who became the first Red Sox player to reach in his first major league plate appearance while making his debut on Opening Day since Joe Lahoud in 1968.
‘I really pride myself on trying to make the pitcher work and not swing and try to make the pitcher work. That way I’m able to get on base and give the guys behind me a chance to let me run a little bit.’
Then there was the third-inning catch of Robinson Cano‘s fly ball with two outs and a runner at second.
Cano lofted an opposite-field fly ball toward the wall, sending Bradley sailing back. At the last minute, just before arriving at the warning track, the outfielder adjusted his body, reversing course, and hauled in what would have been a run for the hosts.
‘I knew right off the bat it was going to be over my head,’ he said. ‘It was one of those balls where you run back and pick a spot where you think it’s going to land. I work on that quite a bit often. I happened to look back up at the right time and there it was, coming right at me.’
Add in a run-scoring groundout in the seventh, along with the Red Sox’ win, and it added up to a fairly successful debut.
‘I was pretty hungry out there,’ Bradley said. ‘It’s just great, being able to get the first one out of the way. I can’t wait to get back on the field again.’
Latest from Bleacher Report
- MLB Reportedly 'Looking Into' Ortiz's Comments for Tampering
- Red Sox Pay Heavy, but Necessary Price to Go for It with Pomeranz
- Moncada Primed to Make Phenom-Loaded Red Sox Even Richer
- Craig Kimbrel Injury Updates on Recovery from Knee Surgery
- Latest on Brad Ziegler to Red Sox
- Brewers Trade INF Aaron Hill to Red Sox
- Bradley, Betts, and Bogaerts Give MLB a New-Age 'Killer B's'
- Cup of Coffee: Benintendi debuts in left, Basabe stays hot
- Cup of Coffee: Boyd spins gem, Hill stays hot
- Cup of Coffee: Mendoza leads DSL 1 in lone affiliate victory
- Scouting Scratch: Tate Matheny and Kyri Washington
- Cup of Coffee: Kent dominates, Devers scores game-winner
- Cup of Coffee: Moncada homers twice, Kopech strikes out nine
- Podcast Ep. #102: Groome signs, Dave deals, podcast delivered
- Weekly Notes: Groome signs, Espinoza traded, Marrero is All-Star MVP
- Cup of Coffee: Salem walks off, Hill rakes in Lowell loss
- Cup of Coffee: Basabe reaches base four times for Greenville