DUNEDIN, Fla. – With much of the fan-fare directed at the matchup between knuckleball starting pitchers Steven Wright of the Red Sox and Toronto’s R.A. Dickey Tuesday, the most notable takeaway may have been the Sox’ second pitcher – Allen Webster.
Webster, one of the pieces the Sox garnered from the Dodgers in the teams’ massive trade last August, did allow a run on two hits over two innings. But the final numbers didn’t paint the most important picture during the Red Sox’ 4-2 win over the Blue Jays.
After allowing an RBI double to Melky Cabrera, Webster went on to strike out four Blue Jays batters in a row. Make the feat more impressive was that those hitters – Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion, J.P. Arencibia and Brett Lawrie – are considered to be the meat of the Jays’ batting order once the regular season rolls around.
During the run, Webster – usually known for topping out in the mid-90’s – hit 99 mph on the Florida Auto Exchange Stadium radar gun one offering after clocking in at 98 mph.
“When it started out my heart was racing, the first start of the year,” the soft-spoken Webster said. “I finally got settled down.”
Webster had no explanation for the increase in velocity, only suggesting that he had gotten stronger and remained within himself mechanically. (“I don’t feel any different. It’s about the same as last year,” he said.)
But it wasn’t hard to notice that his stuff stood out. It offered an example of why he managed to strikeout 12 batters in his nine innings with Double-A Portland last season.
And, this time, he managed the results despite dealing with a healthy dose of nerves.
“All of them,” Webster said when asked which of the Toronto hitters elicited the most anxiety.
While Webster said after the performance his goal was to begin the season at Triple-A Pawtucket, the biggest challenge he faces as camp progresses is an ability to show an improved command.
So far, so good.
“Equally impressive to the arm strength, and the action of his fastball, is that he has a secondary pitch he can go to as a put-away with his changeup. And when he gets in trouble he has the ability to slow people down with a power change that has some action to it,” Red Sox manager John Farrell said. “He was impressive. Very impressive.”
The offensive star for the Red Sox was Jackie Bradley Jr., who continued to impress during his stint in major league camp.
“He’s running down a fly ball to the exact spot. He’s hitting good pitching, both right-handers and left-handers,” Farrell said. “Any time you have young players come into camp you’re hopeful he’s going to make a positive impression, and he certainly has gotten off to a very strong start.”
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — WEEI.com’s Mike Petraglia and Chris Price explain how the Patriots held off the Jets, 17-16, Sunday at MetLife Stadium to improve to 12-3 and lock up a first-round bye in the AFC playoffs.
Greg and Steve give their final thoughts and predictions for what is about to go down at MetLife Stadium today.
Curran calls the guys to discuss the game today and gets into the effect of having no Edelman. He talks about Amendola's role, the Pats running game and more.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Tom joined the show to discuss the close win over the Jets and Rex Ryan's comments.
Tim Hasselbeck on week 16 in the NFL.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Christian quizzes Lou and Tim on which songs were used for torture by the CIA, and Tim is upset he couldn't remember Team America: World Police
Adam Schefter, ESPN, joins MFB to discuss Jim Harbaugh rumors, Rex Ryan's future, and why the Patriots may be better served by not wraping up the number one seed in the AFC this week
Christian shares what he believes will be the three keys to this Sunday's game against the New York Jets
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.
Dale and Michael discuss the trade of Rajon Rondo, and whether it ultimately was a good deal for the Celtics.
We break down Rex and the Jets vs the Patriots with CSNNE's Tom E Curran
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
Jen Royle joins the show to talk about The Taste and what its like working with amazing chefs and how her personality is going over with viewers.
What should Danny Ainge do with these Celtics? Is Anthony Davis the second best player in the NBA? Are the Warriors truly contenders?
Ryan Lambert of Puck Daddy joins DJ to discuss the "uncoachable(?)" Taylor Hall and revisit the Tyler Seguin trade. Ryan also shares his issues with how the Bruins are run.
Tim Hasselbeck on week 16 in the NFL.More from this show
We check in with the playmaker, the hall of famer Michael Irvin for a look at the NFL and all things Patriots as they prepare to face the Jets.More from this show