Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr.

NEW YORK — Even with Yankees lefty CC Sabathia on the mound for Friday’s tilt at Yankee Stadium, left-handed hitting Jackie Bradley Jr. remains in the lineup for the Red Sox, playing center field. Grady Sizemore returns to left field, while Jonny Gomes replaces Daniel Nava in right.

Here is the Red Sox’ lineup in the second of a four-game series:

Jonny Gomes RF

Dustin Pedroia 2B

David Ortiz DH

Mike Napoli 1B

Grady Sizemore LF

Xander Bogaerts SS

Ryan Roberts 3B

David Ross C

Jackie Bradley Jr. CF

Jon Lester P

For all the matchups, click here.

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Kevin Millar makes his weekly appearance to discuss Michael Pineda's apparent pine tar on his hand, the Red Sox loss to the Yankees, and the team's pitching.

MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about Red Sox news, focusing on Thursday’s loss to the Yankees and the controversy surrounding pitcher Michael Pineda

Kevin Millar

Kevin Millar

MLB Network analyst Kevin Millar made his weekly appearance with Mut & Merloni on Friday to talk about Red Sox news, focusing on Thursday’s loss to the Yankees and the controversy surrounding pitcher Michael Pineda. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page.

In Thursday’s game, Pineda appeared to have pine tar on his wrist and arm as he kept the Red Sox bats in check during New York’s 4-1 victory.

“This goes on, first of all, let’s get that out there,” Millar said. “This goes on in every single clubhouse, every single staff. ‘€¦ It goes on. Has it ever bothered me? Never. It’s part of what goes on. The problem I have with it now if I’m the league, how do you address this. Because I don’t mind it going on, but you can’t carry a pine tar rag in the back pocket. Don’t throw it in my face.

“So, that’s my biggest thing. If I’m the league, how do I address this. Because we’ve seen this from Jon Lester in the postseason last year, we’ve seen it from [Clay] Buchholz in Toronto, we’ve seen it from now Pineda, we’ve seen it with Kenny Rogers in the World Series. And it’s not a bad thing, it doesn’t mean, oh, you’re a bad guy. But don’t throw it in my face now.”

Millar said it benefits everyone if the pitchers have a strong grip on the ball.

“It’s not cheating,” he insisted. “You’ve never thrown a baseball in 37-degree weather. You need some grip. And it goes on with hair mousse, it goes on with hair gel when it dries up, players that go to their hat off, whether it’s rosin — I’ve seen players put rosin in their hair. That’s why we use rosin on the mound. That’s why there’s pine tar and Stickum on our bats. Because if you have a little bit of grip the bat’s not going to go flying out of your hands into the stands and hit somebody in the head.

“It’s the same thing with a baseball. As hitters, I don’t mind a guy having a grip. Because I’d rather him have a grip and throw the ball where he wants to throw the ball than throw it at my neck by accident. So that’s why it’s not a big deal from the players’ standpoint. It’s fun for media to talk about. It’s fun to go, ‘Oh my God, what was it?’ It’s fun to hear Pineda say it’s dirt. Right. Did you just go No. 2 in the bathroom stall? Brother, that ain’t dirt. That’s all the fun stuff. The bottom line is it’s not a big deal.”

For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Blog Author: 
Jerry Spar
Rubby De La Rosa has been dominant in two starts this year. (AP)

Rubby De La Rosa has been dominant in two starts this year. (AP)

A brief look at the action in the Red Sox minor league system on Friday:

TRIPLE-A PAWTUCKET RED SOX: 7-4 WIN AT BUFFALO (BLUE JAYS)

(BOX)

– When Rubby De La Rosa opened the 2014 season with five dominating innings in which he yielded neither a run nor a walk, the Red Sox were thrilled, but with a caveat — they wanted to see him do it again. On Thursday, he did just that. De La Rosa logged a strong 5 2/3 innings in which he once again attacked his opponents, allowing just one run while permitting two hits (both singles) and walking two while retiring the last 12 batters he faced. He punched out four. In two starts so far, the 25-year-old has allowed one run in 10 2/3 innings (0.84 ERA) while punching out nine and walking two. He’s given up just four hits, with opponents hitting .111 against him to date this season. And he’s been an absolute groundball machine, with 14 of his 15 outs recorded by strikeout or groundball in his first outing and 15 of his 17 outs recorded by strikeout or groundball on Thursday.

Brock Holt added to his strong start to the year by going 3-for-5; he’s now 9-for-22 with a .409/.500/.500 line in 26 plate appearances. Holt did strike out for the first time of the season on Thursday. His nine hits in six games are one shy of the number he amassed in 20 games for Pawtucket last April.

– Outfielder Bryce Brentz went 2-for-5 and clubbed his first homer of the year. He’s now 3-for-9 with a double and homer — his first two extra-base hits of the year — in his last two games.

DOUBLE-A PORTLAND SEA DOGS: 6-4 WIN VS. NEW BRITAIN (TWINS)

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Feats of Mookie: Breaking the opposition’s spirit. Mookie Betts employed what may have been Jedi mind tricks to leave New Britain’s center fielder unable to track his fly ball through the wind, resulting in a triple, and then scored when the relay home skipped past the third baseman. Betts went 2-for-4, adding a triple, and he’s reached base multiple times in six of his seven games this year while posting a ludicrous .464/.531/.750 line through seven games. The 21-year-old is leading the Eastern League in average and slugging while ranking second in OBP.

– Right-hander Keith Couch is opening his second straight year in Double-A Portland, and he’s spent much of the last two seasons in the opportunistic pursuit of innings in Portland and Pawtucket. But despite the fact that he’s seen other prospects pass him, Couch, 24, has delivered the sort of solid, steady performances that eventually could earn him opportunities at higher levels.

For his second straight start to open this year, Couch tossed 5 2/3 innings in which he permitted just one unearned run. He allowed five hits — three singles, two doubles — while recording five strikeouts and walking just one. And so, two starts into the year, he has a tidy 0.00 ERA with 11 punchouts and two walks in 11 1/3 innings. Dating to last year, in 141 innings with Portland, he’s 13-3 with a 3.19 ERA, 6.6 strikeouts per nine and 2.9 walks per nine.

He doesn’t feature the kind of plus arsenal that will land him on prospect rankings lists — he works with a low-90s fastball with sink, slider and changeup — but he is emerging as the sort of reliable performer and strike thrower whom it wouldn’t be a surprise to see one day in the big leagues.

– Third baseman Sean Coyle had his second straight multi-hit game, going 2-for-4 with a pair of singles and driving in a run. The 22-year-old also committed his first error of the year at his new position of third base.

HIGH-A SALEM RED SOX: 9-8 WIN VS. WINSTON-SALEM (WHITE SOX)

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– Though he lasted just 3 1/3 innings and allowed two runs on a day when he struggled with his control (three walks), right-hander Luis Diaz was not charged with any earned runs. That outing, coming on the heels of his season-opening five scoreless frames, gives Diaz 15 consecutive starts dating to last year in which he’s permitted three or fewer earned runs, with a 1.04 ERA spanning 86 1/3 innings in that time. He has a streak of three consecutive regular season starts in which he hasn’t given up an earned run as well.

– Right-hander Madison Younginer tossed three scoreless innings with three punchouts and retired the final seven batters he faced. The 23-year-old, between the end of last year and start of this year, has flashed some of the promise that led the Sox to sign him for a $975,000 bonus after they drafted him out of high school in the ninth round of the 2009 draft. He has four scoreless appearances this year in which he’s struck out five and walked none. Given that he’s old for the level and that he performed well in his second-half promotion to Salem last year (13 games, 3.52 ERA, 25 strikeouts and 11 walks in 23 innings), Younginer could represent an early-season candidate for a promotion to Portland.

– Outfielder Matty Johnson celebrated his 26th birthday by going 4-for-5 while driving in three. He’s hitting .323/.371/.419 this year.

SINGLE-A GREENVILLE DRIVE: 7-6 WIN (10 INNINGS) VS. KANNAPOLIS (WHITE SOX)

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– Right-hander Jamie Callahan punched out a career-high 11 batters, tied for the most strikeouts in Greenville Drive history (matching the record set previously by right-hander Pete Ruiz in 2010). His fastball sat mostly around 91-92 mph, but he did run it up to 95 mph and it was a clear swing-and-miss offering. Of the 14 swings and misses, 12 came on his fastball.

Callahan allowed one run on five hits (three singles, two doubles) and a walk in five innings of work, throwing 54 of 78 (69 percent) of his pitches for strikes. The outing represented a noteworthy rebound from an Opening Day struggle in which the 19-year-old allowed three runs in 3 2/3 innings while enduring an uncharacteristic struggle with his command.

– Outfielder Bo Greenwell, who joined Greenville on Thursday morning after opening the year in Double-A, delivered a walkoff single as part of a 2-for-5 day. The 25-year-old, who is the son of former Red Sox outfielder Mike Greenwell, told greenvilleonline.com that he had been up since 4:30 a.m. to join the Drive after getting three hours of sleep.

Blog Author: 
Alex Speier

The Red Sox will look to bounce back after a controversial loss to the Yankees on Thursday when they send Jon Lester to the mound against CC Sabathia on Friday.

Lester is looking for his first win of the season when he takes the mound at Yankee Stadium. The southpaw, who is making his third start of the year, came away with the loss on April 6 when he gave up four runs, two of which were earned, on seven hits over 7 1/3 innings in a 4-0 loss.

Lester has not given up more than two earned runs in either of his outings this season.

“We created a number of opportunities obviously,” John Farrell said after the loss (via MLB.com). “I thought we squared up a number of balls that got knocked down by some gusty winds in the outfield. But we continue to create chances. I thought Jon Lester was in control of the ballgame here today. They made the most of the hits they put up.”

Lester battled Sabathia when he last took on the Yankees on Sept. 14, 2013. Lester came away with the win as he gave up just one earned run and scattered three hits and five strikeouts over eight innings. Sabathia struggled during his six innings as he gave up five runs on nine hits with four walks and five strikeouts in Boston’s 5-1 win.

Sabathia picked up his first win of 2014 on April 6 after he gave up four earned runs on seven hits during six innings against the Blue Jays — an improvement over his first outing of the year when he earned a loss after giving up six runs in six innings.

Lester is a career 11-5 against the Yankees with a 3.96 ERA and a WHIP of 1.40, while Sabathia has gone 10-11 with a 4.72 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP against the Sox.

Red Sox vs. Sabathia (LHP)

David Ortiz (66 plate appearances): .230 AVG/.288 OBP/.377 SLG, 3 doubles, 2 HR, 6 RBIs, 4 walks, 15 strikeouts

Dustin Pedroia (58): .302/.362/.358, 3 doubles, 3 RBIs, 4 walks, 13 strikeouts

Jonny Gomes (44): .250/.364/.389, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 5 RBIs, 5 walks, 9 strikeouts

Mike Napoli (34): .276/.382/.552, 2 doubles, 2 HR, 8 RBIs, 4 walks, 8 strikeouts

A.J. Pierzynski (27): .222/.222/.407, 2 doubles, 1 HR, 2 RBIs, 6 strikeouts

David Ross (22): .333/.409/.722, 1 double, 2 HR, 3 RBIs, 3 walks, 6 strikeouts

Daniel Nava (16): .167/.214/.417, 1 HR, 3 RBIs, 1 walk, 6 strikeouts

Ryan Roberts (11): .273/.273/.818, 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 1 strikeout

Grady Sizemore (9): .286/.444/.857, 1 double, 1 HR, 1 RBI, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Jackie Bradley Jr. (6): .000/.333/.000, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Mike Carp (6): .000/.167/.000, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Xander Bogaerts (3): .000/.333/.000, 1 walk, 1 strikeout

Jonathan Herrera has one strikeout in one plate appearance vs. Sabathia.

Yankees vs. Lester (LHP)

Derek Jeter (69): .333/.391/.397, 1 double, 1 HR, 8 RBIs, 5 walks, 11 strikeouts

Brian Roberts (51): .217/.294/.478, 6 doubles. 2 HR, 2 RBIs, 5 walks, 10 strikeouts

Ichiro Suzuki (49): .313/.327/.438, 2 HR, 4 RBIs, 1 walk, 4 strikeouts

Kelly Johnson (14): .000/.143/.000, 2 walks, 3 strikeouts

Alfonso Soriano (13): .308/.308/.308, 1 RBI, 4 strikeouts

Brett Gardner (12): .182/.250/.182, 1 walk, 3 strikeouts

Francisco Cervelli (7): .333/.429/.333, 2 RBIs, 1 walk

Brian McCann (4): .500/.500/.500, 1 strikeout

Carlos Beltran (3): 1.000/1.000/1.000, 2 walks

Blog Author: 
Meredith Perri

NEW YORK — The Red Sox may have lost 4-1 to the Yankees Thursday night ‘€“ continuing their early-season offensive struggles — but that’€™s not what dominated the clubhouse questioning following the game.

The NESN broadcast showed a substance on the pitching hand of Yankees' pitcher Michael Pineda.

The NESN broadcast showed a substance on the pitching hand of Yankees’ pitcher Michael Pineda.

NEW YORK ‘€“ The Red Sox may have lost 4-1 to the Yankees Thursday night ‘€“ continuing their early-season offensive struggles — but that’€™s not what dominated the clubhouse questioning following the game.

On most everybody’€™s mind post-game, however, were thoughts regarding the substance (thought to be pine tar) on the pitching hand of Yankees starter Michael Pineda.

Pineda explained after his six-inning, one-run outing that the substance was dirt, claiming he doesn’€™t use pine tar. But images of the pitching hand through the first four innings makes the pitcher’€™s explanation hard to believe. (‘€œWas he pitching or hitting?’€ asked one Red Sox player after seeing a screen shot.)

Yankees manager Joe Girardi said he didn’€™t notice anything on his pitcher’€™s hand, commenting after his team’€™s win, ‘€œI really don’€™t have anything to say on the subject.’€

Crew chief Brian O’€™Nora told a pool reporter that the issue was never brought to the umpires’€™ attention, saying, ‘€œI can’€™t comment on it because we’€™re on the field, and the Red Sox didn’€™t bring it to our attention, so there’€™s nothing we can do about it. If they bring it to our attention then you’€™ve got to do something, but they didn’€™t bring it to our attention.’€

According to Red Sox manager John Farrell, the reason he never alerted the umpires was because by the time the coaching staff was made aware of the issue, the substance had left the base of Pineda’€™s right hand.

‘€œI became aware of it in the fourth inning through the video that some had seen. And then when he came back out for the fifth inning, it looked, based on what was told to me where it was located, it looked like the palm of his right hand was clean,’€ Farrell said. ‘€œThat’€™s the extent of it.’€

While it is understood that many pitchers use some level of pine tar for a better grip, there was some private grumbling in the Red Sox clubhouse that the Yankees pitcher might have taken it to an extreme.

Rule 8.02 of in the Major League Rulebook states: ‘€œThe pitcher shall not apply a foreign substance of any kind to the ball.’€ If found guilty of the transgression, the accused pitcher is supposed to be ejected and be handed a 10-game suspension.’€

‘€œIt’€™s in the rules, right? So I guess whoever made that rule thinks it’€™s wrong,’€ said Red Sox outfielder Jonny Gomes. When then asked if such actions upset hitters the outfielder responded, ‘€œSure. Any time you’€™re breaking rules. I’€™ve faced pitchers when they’€™re in the wind-up they step back and they step ahead of the rubber. Or when they’€™re on the first base side and they’€™re off the rubber. Rules are rules. You can’€™t use pine tar otherwise they all would, I’€™ll tell you that. If a pitcher could use pine tar I guarantee they would have a pine tar rag in their back pocket. I’€™m not saying he did. I don’€™t know what that was, but if it’€™s against the rules ‘€¦’€

Most Red Sox players publicly downplayed the issue, with many saying they didn’€™t even notice the discoloration.

‘€œI don’€™t know, I don’€™t pay attention to it, it seems like ‘€“ they show him with pine tar or something, he got a lot of pine tar? I didn’€™t get to see it but what can I tell you, I don’€™t know what pine tar does to a baseball,’€ said Red Sox DH David Ortiz. ‘€œMaybe a better grip? Better be careful. I think his velocity and his slider were good tonight, all I can tell you. His pitches were good.’€

‘€œI don’€™t think about that,’€ said Red Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia. ‘€œThey have a difficult job. Pitching is pretty tough. I play second base I don’€™t try to pitch. Maybe you could ask one of our pitchers or something.’€ He then added, ‘€œNo, I didn’€™t see it.’€

‘€œI have no idea. I didn’t see it, so I don’t know,’€ Red Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski said. ‘€œHe pitched good, and that’s it. I don’t know anything about that stuff.’€

Some other Red Sox players echoed Ortiz’€™s sentiments, suggesting getting a better grip might not be such a bad thing.

‘€œI’€™m kind of on the fence with that where I would rather the guy know where the ball is going and have a good grip, for me, personally,’€ said Red Sox catcher David Ross. ‘€œAs long as I’€™ve played there’€™s guys always trying to make sure they’€™ve got a grip when there is cold weather, early on. Maybe it’€™s cheating, but I don’€™t really look at it that way. Some guys might, but not me, personally.’€

It was an opinion shared by Red Sox starting pitcher Clay Buchholz, who came under fire last season for potentially using a foreign substance for better grips on the baseball.

‘€œEspecially cold, windy nights, it’s tough to get a grip on a baseball,’€ Buchholz said. ‘€œI had that instance last year in Toronto about having stuff all over my body. You can use resin, water, the whole sunscreen stuff, whatever. It’s either have a grip on a baseball and semi-know where it’s going or don’t have a grip at all and get somebody hurt. How hard he was throwing early in the game, nobody wants to get hit by that, especially up around the head, so I don’t think there’d be any organization that would want to do anything about it.”

He added, “If you’re scuffing the ball, that’s one thing, but if you’re actually creating more control by throwing it where you want to, that’s the game of baseball. A pitcher is supposed to throw it where they want to, and hitters react and hit it. If it’s giving you any kind of edge, as long as I’ve been around, I’ve never seen any kind of sticky substance give anybody an edge. If it gives him an edge, that’s one thing, but if not ‘€¦ ‘€

 

Blog Author: 
Rob Bradford
Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien give some thoughts on what went wrong for the Red Sox as they drop the opening game of the series to the New York Yankees 4-1.

[0:00:06] ... card yankees take the opener of this four game series against the Red Sox. -- one tonight at the -- John -- you -- now. I joined from New York by Dave O'Brien in that joke is to play on -- Guys at the top for the Red Sox lineup go one for fourteen and then they get just -- incidents when you're not gonna get too many wins when he gets his. -- it well Pineda was very very good he really pitch well. The Red Sox could not afford to make a mistake get a Bobble by -- leading off the fourth inning turned into two runs it. As it turned out to that would be all the Yankees need it they. Red Sox also worked. Did get that made out of there red -- after. Six innings loss that they could do nothing with the Yankee relievers and if you're talking about it really -- Ninth and tenth may be eleven pitchers. That's the -- case tonight because -- eighth and ninth innings absolutely nothing happened for the Red Sox went down in order. In each of those -- tip your cap to David -- but I'll Michael Pineda winning at the big league level for the first time. In three years since 2011. -- missing two years it's pretty amazing as you he was very very good tonight in his velocity was up there depending on how you read the Yankee radar gun. It was in the -- ninety's he was consistently changing speeds but he had a great changeup tonight. And then made the Red Sox chase some pitches that -- they shouldn't have been chasing. As you mentioned John atop the order in particular pretty dismal tonight and it's the second straight night that the Red Sox are hill before it gets. You. Conversely. To me anyway didn't seem like cliff Buchholz had a great changeup tonight we what ...
[0:02:03] ... -- -- -- the called tonight's game as the Yankees beat the Red Sox four to one. ...




Joe Castiglione and Dave O'Brien give some thoughts on what went wrong for the Red Sox as they drop the opening game of the series to the New York Yankees 4-1.

[0:00:06] ... card yankees take the opener of this four game series against the Red Sox. 41 tonight of the -- John redwood you are now. I joined from New York by Dave O'Brien and joke is to play on -- Guys the top for the Red Sox lineup go one for fourteen and then they get just -- incidents when you're not gonna get too many wins when he gets ...
[0:00:56] ... tonight because the eighth and ninth innings absolutely nothing happened for the Red Sox went down in order. In each of those -- tip your cap to David felt but I'll Michael Pineda winning at the big league level for the first time. In three years since 2011. As missing two years is pretty amazing as you he was very very good tonight in his velocity was up there depending on how you read the Yankee radar gun. It was in the -- ninety's he was consistently changing speeds the -- great changeup tonight. And then made the Red Sox Jason pitches that they shouldn't have been chasing. As you mentioned John atop the order in particular pretty dismal tonight and it's the second straight night that the Red Sox are held before it gets. -- Conversely. To me anyway didn't seem like cliff Buchholz had a great changeup tonight we would ...
[0:02:03] ... -- stability of the called tonight's game as the Yankees beat the Red Sox four to one. ...