|Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz discuss pros, cons of baseball sleepover||04.21.14 at 4:30 pm ET|
There’s very little that can truly scare Mike Napoli.
Sleeping on the bottom bunk of bed that has a grown man and starting pitcher on top qualifies.
Monday was one of those truly bizarre days at Fenway, thanks to the unkind schedule-maker and MLB that had the Red Sox play a nationally televised night game on ESPN hours before the traditional 11:05 a.m. Patriots’ Day contest.
To compensate, and to help Napoli get added treatment on a sore left kneecap, the Red Sox provided a solution. Years ago, when the Red Sox renovated their clubhouse, they put aside a room designed to allow staff, players and coaches to sleep in, if needed.
Sunday night into Monday morning provided just such a scenario.
“There’s two bunk beds in there,” Napoli told reporters after Monday’s 7-6 loss to the Orioles. “Just a dark room, blankets, pillows, all the necessary things to sleep.
“I didn’t want to deal with all the traffic. Just being here was easier. I knew it was going to be an early morning, so just stayed here. We have a sleep room upstairs. It’s convenient.”
Of course, Napoli had a sore kneecap because Orioles reliever Darren O’Day drilled him in the bottom of the ninth.
“I mean, I could move my leg around and run. It was just a little sore,” Napoli said.
There were three Red Sox players who elected to take advantage and avoid Monday’s traffic into the Fens. Napoli, Monday’s starter Clay Buchholz and John Lackey. So that meant someone had to bunk up. With Buchholz starting, Napoli and Lackey decided to split the other.
“I was bottom. Had Lackey above me,” Napoli said, before confessing he was “kind of scared he was going to fall through, to tell you the truth.”
|Red Sox Marathon Monday notes: Mike Napoli, Clay Buchholz, John Lackey have a sleepover, Napoli ‘a little sore’ but ready to go||at 10:25 am ET|
Whenever you can hear an injury from the dugout, you immediately fear the worst.
But John Farrell can breathe a little bit easier after Mike Napoli came downstairs from spending the night in the Red Sox clubhouse and reported he was good to go and bat cleanup for the Red Sox after taking a Darren O’Day pitch to the outside of his left kneecap Sunday night.
“A little sore but ready to go,” Farrell reported Monday morning. “He and a couple other guys spent the night here with the quick turnaround but we’re at full strength, ready to go today. That’s why it’s there. They’re taking advantage of it.
“The way he went down, it didn’t look promising. You could hear it from the dugout. It was clearly on the bone. But once he got some feeling back, while the soreness was there, he was good to continue. We were somewhat anxious to see how he was going to respond this morning. But walking around after the game last night, he was mobile. It remained loose so while there’s some soreness, he’s still ready to go.”
“No, I didn’t. I have my own sleeping room,” Farrell quipped.
Farrell acknowledged Monday morning that the schedule “is what it is” and even showed some humor when one reporter asked if he could judge the mood of the clubhouse after such a short night.
“How do you feel this morning?” Farrell replied. “We’re on short rest but the game goes on and we’ll be there, I can’t say with bells on, but we’ll be raring to go.”
Brock Holt was penciled into the starting lineup as the leadoff hitter Monday, marking the fifth leadoff hitter the Red Sox have used this season.
“He’s had very good at-bats, both [against] lefties and righties,” Farrell said. “We’ve had a number of different guys in that leadoff spot. I recognize that. I think the priority becomes keeping some continuity, 2 through 6, which we’ve been able to do with this alignment. That’s where we are today.”
Buchholz has yet to replicate his early-season magic from 2013, when he looked like a Cy Young candidate. In 2014, the 29-year-old has gone 0-1, posting a 5.51 ERA and a 1.714 WHIP, both above his career averages, a 3.64 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP.
The Texas native has shown improvement in his three starts, giving up less hits and putting his team in a position to win. His last start came Wednesday against the White Sox. Buchholz lasted six innings that day, giving up three runs (two earned) on six hits, striking out six and walking two.
The Red Sox went on to win the game 6-4 in 14 innings. While Buchholz went six innings, he pitched 51 pitches in the first two innings.
“It was a little bit of a grind there for a couple of innings,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was sort of similar to [Jake Peavy] on [Tuesday] night. I had a long inning and sometimes you’ve got to find a way to pick your team up when things happen in an inning. Tried to battle to get through that first one.
“It’s tough to bounce back from a first inning like that. But this team, everybody knows they like to swing, so I was able to get through a couple of innings later on with a lot fewer pitches than I normally do.”
Buchholz has been successful in his career against the Orioles, posting a 9-3 record with a 3.40 ERA and a 1.276 WHIP in 16 games, 15 of them being starts. Buchholz first faced the Orioles in 2007, appearing twice, once as a starter and once from the bullpen. He combined to pitch 12 innings, allowing one hit and no runs, while striking out 12 and walking five.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Orioles matchups: Jake Peavy vs. Ubaldo Jimenez||04.20.14 at 9:37 am ET|
Peavy is the only Red Sox starting pitcher without a win or loss, despite pitching well. In his three starts this season, Peavy has posted a 1.93 ERA and a 1.179 WHIP while striking out 20 and walking 10.
The 32-year-old’s last start came on April 15 against his former team, the White Sox. Peavy went six innings that day, giving up one run on a home run. The Red Sox lost the game in the bottom of the ninth inning, 2-1. The game was noted for being particularly cold, averaging around 40 degrees throughout.
“We battled through six, gave us a chance to win,” Peavy said after the game. “That’s what I’m trying to do on my fifth day”
Peavy has made three starts against the Orioles, going 2-0 in those games. His first start against them came in 2007, when he pitched six innings and gave up three runs on six hits, striking out seven and walking two. It wouldn’t be until 2012 when Peavy faced the Orioles again, this time pitching seven innings and allowing one run on four hits. Both games were wins. His last start against the Orioles came in 2013 when he went seven innings, allowing three runs on six hits, striking out eight and walking one.
Jimenez has struggled in 2014, going 0-3 with a 7.31 ERA and a 2.063 WHIP. His last start came against the Blue Jays on April 13, when he went 5 1/3 innings and surrendered five runs on 10 hits and two home runs while walking two and striking out three.
The 30-year-old has struggled against the Red Sox in five career starts, going 1-3 with a 10.27 ERA. His worst game came last year when he only last 1 2/3 innings, allowing seven runs and five walks. Jimenez faced the Red Sox this year, his season debut on April 2, pitching six innings and allowing four runs on five hits and two home runs.
|Thursday’s Red Sox-White Sox matchups: Jon Lester vs. Chris Sale||04.17.14 at 8:40 am ET|
While the Red Sox are struggling, Lester is off to a good start. The 30-year-old has a 2.57 ERA and a 1.095 WHIP in three starts. In his first two starts, Lester gave up two earned runs in both games while the Red Sox offense mustered up one total run.
Lester’s only win came on April 11, a 4-2 victory over the Yankees. That day he went 6 2/3 innings, giving up two runs on six hits and a home run while walking two and striking out seven.
“I don’t feel like I threw the ball as well as the first two [games], but sometimes you need games like this to make you appreciate the ones where you glide through it,” Lester said after that game. “I’ll take a win any way I can. This was just a little bit of a grinder.”
Lester has appeared in and started 10 games against the White Sox, going 4-5. His first start against Chicago came in 2006, where he recorded a win after pitching six innings and giving up two runs.
Since then, his results have been mixed against the White Sox. In 2009, Lester had a 1.98 ERA and a 0.878 WHIP in two starts, striking out 14 batters in 13 2/3 innings. 2010 was a lot tougher for the lefty as he lasted only four innings, giving up eight runs and walking five in his only start against the team. His most recent game was in 2013, when he went six innings and gave up six runs (five earned) and picked up the loss.
Sale has been lights out for the White Sox, owning a perfect 3-0 record in his first three starts with a 2.66 ERA and a 0.934 WHIP. The 25-year-old has yet to give up a home run and has walked four and struck out 19. He only last five innings in his last start, a 9-6 victory over Cleveland on April 11, giving up three runs on six hits while striking out five and walking two.
|Sunday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Felix Doubront vs. Ivan Nova||04.13.14 at 9:42 am ET|
Though 1-1, Doubront has struggled in his first two starts of the season. After picking up a win against Baltimore, Doubront only made it through 2 2/3 innings against Texas on April 8, giving up five runs on six hits and a home run while striking out two and walking three. The rough outing, which was the shortest of his career, leaves Doubront with a 9.00 ERA and a 2.000 WHIP.
“I wasn’t tired,” Doubront said after the game. “I don’t know. I can’t explain what happened. I was feeling really good during the first two innings and the whole day, in my bullpen and the start of the game. I started doing too much. I think that’s what happened. I was trying to do too much and overthrow.”
The 26-year-old has played against the Yankees 12 times in his career, eight of them being starts. In 2010 and 2011, he came out of the bullpen four times, giving up two earned runs off of 17 batters faced. The southpaw picked up no-decisions in those contests.
2012 was a good year for Doubront against the Yankees as he made four starts and went 1-1 with an ERA of 2.52 and a WHIP of 1.200. While he went 2-1 against them in 2013, he had a 6.30 ERA with a WHIP of 1.700.
Similar to Doubront, Nova has struggled in 2013, going 1-1. The 27-year-old picked up a win at Houston in his season debut, going 5 2/3 innings and giving up two runs while walking five and striking out one. His second game, against Baltimore on April 8, saw him go only 3 2/3 innings and give up seven runs on 10 hits and a home run.
Nova has struggled against the Red Sox, going 2-3 in eight games with a 5.50 ERA and a WHIP of 1.699. Nova’s best year against Boston was in 2012, when he went 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA and a WHIP of 1.250. In his games against the Sox in 2010, 2011 and 2013, his ERA was over six and he did not record a win.
|Thursday’s Red Sox-Yankees matchups: Clay Buchholz vs. Michael Pineda||04.10.14 at 9:39 am ET|
Buchholz will make his second start of the season, five days after Saturday’s appearance against the Brewers. The 29-year-old struggled in that game, lasting 4 1/3 innings and giving up six runs on 13 hits, including two home runs, while striking out three.
“It took a little bit to get loose,” Buchholz said after the game. “It was pretty cool out there. You don’t want to give up that many hits ever. They’re swinging early and putting balls in play.”
Buchholz ended up with a no-decision as Boston was able to come back and tie the game in the bottom of the sixth inning before falling in 11.
Buchholz has faced the Yankees 12 times (all starts), holding a 5-5 record with an ERA of 5.32 and a WHIP of 1.601. Last year Buchholz was dominant against the Yankees, going 3-0 in three games with an ERA of 0.50 and a WHIP of 0.94.
Pineda pitched well in his debut with the Yankees, his first major league start since 2011 (he had shoulder surgery in 2012 and pitched in the minors last year). Pineda went six innings against the Blue Jays on Saturday and allowed one run while striking out five. His performance wasn’t good enough, however, as he was saddled with the loss as the Yankees were shut out, 4-0.
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