The most up-to-date content on the planet
this just in
 RSS
WEEI » This Just In » Lester, bullpen help Sox blow out Yankees
Mon, 04/01/2013 - 3:50pm  

Lester, bullpen help Sox blow out Yankees

NEW YORK –A case can be made that no member of the Red Sox roster will have more to say about whether the team is an AL East contender or also-ran than Jon Lester. The gap between what he was from 2008-11 — one of the top starters in the majors — and his performance in 2012 — when he was a durable starter who performed at a below league-average level, more along the lines of a No. 4 or No. 5 starter, is colossal.

And so it was that the first note of the Red Sox’ 2013 season was a considerably impressive one. Lester proved mostly sharp against a depleted Yankees lineup, leaning mostly on a 92-94 mph fastball and a nasty cutter that stayed on the hands of hitters while working five innings in which he permitted two runs on five hits and two walks. Lester struck out seven, more than he punched out in 25 of his 33 starts a year ago.

His pitch count (96, 63 strikes) represented something of an issue, as he proved unable to work deep into the game. Still, Lester avoided the sort of potholes that sometimes ruined otherwise-promising outings last year. For the Sox, who hadn’t won on Opening Day since 2010, the left-hander’s performance — and the team’s 8-2 win — represented a positive first step for a team sorely in need of just that.

Some other takeaways from Opening Day:

WHAT WENT RIGHT FOR THE RED SOX

– In their decision to stash Jackie Bradley Jr. in the eighth spot in the lineup for his major league debut, there was a message from the Red Sox. As promising as his spring was, and as good a hitter as the Sox think that the 22-year-old can become, the team’s decision to insert him in left field for Opening Day was driven chiefly because of the fact that he combines an advanced, disciplined plate approach with tremendous outfield defense and strong base running.

Bradley displayed both against the Yankees. In his first career plate appearance, with runners on first and second and one out in the top of the second inning, he quickly fell behind CC Sabathia, 0-2, but then took a pair of sliders (one just off the plate), fouled off a fastball, then took a slider and fastball for a walk. Then, when Jose Iglesias bounced a chopper to shortstop, Bradley’s good break from first permitted him to slide safely into second on a fielder’s choice attempt — a play that proved huge given that the Sox scored three two-out runs in the inning.

Then, with two outs and a runner on second in the bottom of the third inning, Bradley got a great jump on a Robinson Cano fly ball to deep left field, ran a clean route to the ball and turned around in time to make the catch while backpedaling just shy of the warning tracka play that ended the inning and saved at least one run.

Bradley would later strike out and walk against Sabathia, seeing 15 pitches in three plate appearances despite not putting a ball in play. When he finally did make contact, it was with runners on the corners and one out in the top of the seventh. Against left-handed reliever Boone Logan, he worked the count to 3-1 then hit a hard grounder back up the middle that Logan couldn’t field cleanly; the ball glanced off his glove for an RBI groundout. Finally, in his fifth plate appearance of the game, Bradley accepted a walk from Joba Chamberlain, thus becoming the first big leaguer to walk three times in his major league debut since Danny Ardoin of the Twins did it in 2000.

So, Bradley went 0-for-2 with three walks, an RBI and 26 pitches seen. The ability to impact multiple dimensions of the game without collecting a hit underscored what the Sox hoped Bradley might be able to do if he remained on the roster.

– The Red Sox bullpen was dominant. Even though Lester was knocked out after just five innings, the team had waves of arms to send at the Yankees, with Koji Uehara (1IP), Andrew Bailey (2/3 IP), Andrew Bailey (1/3 IP), Junichi Tazawa (1 IP) and Joel Hanrahan delivering four shutout innings in which they permitted just one hit and two walks while striking out three. Miller hit 98 mph with a pair of punchouts, Bailey struck out Kevin Youkilis with a 95 mph heater up in the zone and Hanrahan showed 97 mph with life to close out the contest.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia had a strong day at the plate, notable because he starter against the left-handed Sabathia. He went 1-for-2 with a double and a pair of walks (including 1-for-2 with one of those walks against Sabathia). That performance continued a spring in which the catcher performed well against southpaws (.333 average, .375 OBP), something that he rarely had the opportunity to do in 2012.

Jose Iglesias didn’t exactly destroy the baseball, but he chopped an infield single with the bases loaded, pushed a bunt to the right side for a single and later had a swinging bunt to third for another hit. (He’d worked quite a bit on bunting during spring training.) The three-hit game was the second of the young shortstop’s career, with the previous one coming against the Rays last Sept. 20 representing his only prior contest with multiple base hits in 35 big league appearances.

– Overall, the lineup did an excellent job of making Yankees pitchers — particularly Sabathia — work. The Sox knocked the big left-hander out after just five innings in which he required 102 pitches.

WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE RED SOX

Mike Napoli had a tough Red Sox debut, going 0-for-5 with a pair of strikeouts.

Will Middlebrooks went 0-for-4 with a walk, but deserves some bonus points for being on the field despite a 102-degree fever while fighting the flu.

– The Sox missed out on several chances to blow the game open early, leaving 13 runners on base. Most heinously, they failed to score a run in the sixth inning after Jacoby Ellsbury led off the frame with a triple. Still, they finally put the game out of reach by plating three runs in the ninth against reliever Joba Chamberlain.




Audio On Demand

Devin McCourty talks to O…

Devin McCourty talks to OMF about covering Antonio Brown, 1-20-17

Patriots Safety Devin McCourty joined Glenn, Lou, and Christian, and talked about covering the Steelers Wide Receivers, and how he's helping the players who are in the AFC Championship for the first time prepare.

Mike Florio of ProFootball Talk says the Patriots don't have to stop the Steelers' Offense - just outscore them, 1-20-17

ProFootball Talk's Mike Florio told Glenn, Lou, and Christian that the Patriots have a quiet confidence that they can outscore the Steelers, since they've proven they have the ability.

NFL Network's Heath Evans with Dale, Holley and Keefe

Holley and Keefe check in with NFL Network's Heath Evans for some final thoughts on the Houston win and to look ahead at the Steelers in the AFC Championship.

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah …

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul, and it's time for the Celtics to fill their biggest need 12-20-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the 'Dale and Holley Show' talk about Isaiah Thomas' flagrant foul against the Heat, and also discuss why it's time for the Celtics to address their biggest need.

Celtics Podcast - Isaiah Thomas' injury and keeping Marcus Smart in control 12-13-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of the "Dale and Holley Show" discuss the latest news on the injury that has kept Isaiah Thomas off the court and how valuable it is for Marcus Smart to stay in control.

Celtics Podcast – Bad finish against the Rockets and love for DeMarcus Cousins 12-6-16

WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Ben Kichen of 'The Dale and Holley Show' talk about last night's disappointing finish against the Rockets and they talk about their love for DeMarcus Cousins.

Hot Stove Show Hour 2 - H…

Hot Stove Show Hour 2 - Hall of Fame candidates losing and gaining support

Mut, Rob, and John are talking about some of the Hall of Fame candidates who gained or lost support within the last year. Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds both gained support, while Curt Schilling lost a chunk of votes he had gotten last year.

Hot Stove Show Hour 1 - Reacts to the 2017 Hall of Fame elections

Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are in after it was announced that Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, and Ivan 'Pudge' Rodriguez will be inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. They also talk about some notable candidates who weren't elected this year like Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds.

Bradfo Sho, Ep. 3: Jackie Bradley Jr.

Rob Bradford is joined by Jackie Bradley Jr. to discuss race in baseball and in Boston, along with the importance of Martin Luther King Day. The Red Sox outfielder also dives into how he never really felt comfortable in a major league clubhouse until last year, the approach he's taking heading into 2017, and why he's not playing in the World Baseball Classic.

SUNDAY SKATE with K&C's K…

SUNDAY SKATE with K&C's Ken Laird, Barstool Sports' Rear Admiral and WEEI's Ty Anderson -- It was a very good week for the Bruins-Are they turning things around? -- 1-15-17

Ken, Rear and Ty get into a very solid week for the B's beating St Louis and the Flyers and losing a hard-fought game against the Predators. Is this team turning things around? Krug and Marchand are kicking things up a notch. The guys also talk about Claude and Sweeney's job security before getting into some big hits around the league this week.

SUNDAY SKATE with K&C's Ken Laird, Barstool Sports' Rear Admiral and WEEI's Ty Anderson talk Bruins and the state of Claude Julien's tenure in Boston -- 1-8-16

Ken, Rear and Ty talk all things Bruins as they come off a 4-0 shutout win in Florida and head to Carolina later today. Did that victory save Claude's job? The boys get into Don Sweeney's recent comments on Claude's job and what the future holds for the black and gold.

Saturday Skate - Khudobin to blame? Julien hot seat? Landeskog trade? 12-17-16

Hour two of Saturday Skate as Ken Laird and Rear Admiral kick around the perception of backup goalie Anton Khudobin, B's coach Claude Julien, and possible trade target Gabriel Landeskog.

K&C - Damien Woody thinks…

K&C - Damien Woody thinks Rodgers is more talented than Brady, thinks it will be a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl

"D-Wood" Joins the show to talk Brady vs. Rodgers and predicts a Patriots-Packers Super Bowl.

K&C - Belichick presser vs. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon; Mut’s big announcement; Gerry calls in from the inauguration 1-20-17

Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.

K&C - Ben Volin’s huge Trump stat; Mut can’t answer any questions about Trump’s sexual assault allegations; Damien Woody joins the show 1-20-17

Hour 3. Ben Volin shares a stat about Trump that will blow your mind. Mut wouldn't answer any questions about Trump's alleged sexual assaults.

O. M. F...B? Tim Benz joi…

O. M. F...B? Tim Benz joins OMF to talk Patriots-Steelers, 1-20-17

Old Friend Tim Benz joins OMF, and while they regale tales of dysfunction, Benz manages to predict that the Patriots will win Sunday.

President Trump is being inaugurated, and Patriots Predictions, 1-20-17

Glenn, Lou, and Christian enjoy the festivities ahead of the Inauguration, and give their predictions for Patriots-Steelers in the AFC Championship Game.

Bill Belichick has to deal with too many stupid questions from the Media, 1-20-17

Glenn, Lou, and Christian love how Bill Belichick reacts to the plethora of stupid questions he receives from the Media during his Press Conferences.

Laroy Streat's Freestyle …

Laroy Streat's Freestyle Friday via the Dale & Holley Show

What would happen if Roger Goodell did make his first appearance to Gillette Stadium this Sunday since the end of Deflate Gate. Laroy Streat paints a vivid picture the best way he knows how! #FreestyleFriday every Friday on The Dale & Holley Show with Keefe. Catch Laroy Streat on all of his social media platforms titled "Laroy Streat."

2016-2017 should be considered the REAL revenge tour for the Patriots

Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss the Patriots on the road to the Super Bowl, and how this is the season the Patriots should be setting their revenge sights on, not last year.

Are the Bruins fixable without blowing up the entire team?

Can the Bruins be rebuilt without wholesale changes? Dale, Michael and Rich Keefe discuss it with you.

Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charl…

Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charlotte Wilder's story on Trump/Patriots

Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Ep. 48: John Ziegler - Penn State Scandal

Kirk Minihane has a loud and very confrontational argument with media personality John Ziegler about the guilt or innocence of Jerry Sandusky. Kirk believes him to be guilty, John believes beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sandusky is innocent. Yes, it may be an old case, but you all remember it and this episode may change your mind about some of the things you previously thought with regards to Penn State, Jerry Sandusky, and Joe Paterno.

Ep. 47: Sean Leahy, Boston Herald sports editor

Kirk Minihane wants to sit down with both sports editors at the major newspapers in Boston. Only Boston Herald sports editor Sean Leahy took Kirk up on the invitation to join the show. What you will hear is a great conversation between two people who are very interested in the newspaper business and how that business has changed over the years and what the future holds for newspapers. Kirk and Sean talk about the ongoing and longstanding rivalry between the Herald and Globe.

The Real K&C - Gerry's um…

The Real K&C - Gerry's umbrella, Volin D-Wood & the new MAN Show 1-20-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis wrap up the K&C week after a Friday show with Kirk, Mut and Ben Volin in studio.

The Real K&C - 72 Degree Meter, Inauguration apocalyptic & Madden mania 1-19-17

Ken Laird and Chris Curtis recap the Thursday K&C show featuring Jon Meterparel back in the saddle.

Enough About Me - Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charlotte Wilder's Article on the Pats and Trump

Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

K&C - Alex is a single ma…

K&C - Belichick presser v…

K&C - Belichick presser vs. Six degrees of Kevin Bacon; Mut’s big announcement; Gerry calls in from the inauguration 1-20-17

Hour 4. Bill Belichick holds his Friday press conference while Mut and Kirk try and play a game. Mut has a big announcement. Gerry calls in from the Inauguration on his crystal-clear cell phone.

More from this show

Enough About Me - Ep. 49:…

Enough About Me - Ep. 49: Chad Finn - Charlotte Wilder's Article on the Pats and Trump

Kirk Minihane brings Chad Finn back to the show to talk about the Charlotte Wilder story about the relationship between the Pats and Trump. Chad defends Charlotte for some of the story and her previous articles, Kirk still has problems with what he thinks is lazy reporting. Kirk and Chad also talk about whether a third sports station in Boston would be viable and if Curt Schilling will ever make it into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

More from this show

K&C- Mark Madden isn’t …

K&C- Mark Madden isn’t a fan of the show; Headlines with Kirk 1-19-17

Hour 2. Mark Madden hates Dino and the show. Headlines with Kirk.

More from this show

OMF - Christian Fauria pr…

OMF - Christian Fauria prank calls Pittsburgh sports radio, and one of the hosts calls back 1-18-17

Fauria couldn't help himself and called into Pittsburgh sports radio to show off his (terrible) Boston accent and to troll Steelers fans. Later on, Josh Miller (co-host and former Patriots punter) calls us to trash talk to Christian.

More from this show

News & Analysis