Quick Thoughts on Red Sox/Rays – Game 7

The Red Sox opened up the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park with a bang, a literal bang in the 8th inning when the first 10 guys reached base before they recorded an out.  It was a big win for the Sox to start the 9 game home stand.  Here’s some quick thoughts.

  • On Josh Beckett:  I was worried about Beckett’s velocity early on but he was locating the ball much better than he did against the Tigers.  He shaved some MPH off of his change-up and that worked out better for him as well.  It seems like he was taken aback by his lack of velocity if the first game much like the rest of us were but he took steps to work around the velocity drop and it worked out well for him on Friday.  His next start comes next week against Texas so we’ll see if he can keep it up.
  • On David Price:  I am convinced that this guy has the stuff to be one of the best pitchers in major league baseball but there’s something holding him back.  I think it’s in his head to be honest.  He was trying to paint and was getting frustrated when he wasn’t getting calls (in the umps’ defense his strike zone seemed very good in relation to NESN’s K-zone).  When he got frustrated he started aiming the ball which made things even worse for him.  Maybe he will mature as he gets older but if he doesn’t he will leave a lot of potential on the table.
  • On Jacoby Ellsbury’s injury:  Obviously it has a chance to be devastating.  If he’s gone for two months it may not be as bad…you would need the D-Mac, Ross, Sweeney trio to produce until Crawford get back and then you would have the 4 guys until Ellsbury gets better.  Obviously Crawford is the wild card here.  He wasn’t around two years ago when Ellsbury missed all that time but he has the potential to do a lot of the same things that Ellsbury does offensively.  I say he has the potential because he didn’t do it last year.  The Sox would really need him to be the player that he was in Tampa if Ellsbury is going to miss extended time.
  • I guess the “call Ryan Lavarnway up” bandwagon can cool off now after Kelly Shoppach’s performance yesterday.  Shoppach had 3 hits and scored 3 times in the win.  He also had the highlight of the game when he slid 10 feet in front of the bag on a steal attempt and had to jump up and dive head first into the bag, which ended up being almost a literal dive head first into the bag.  You can’t really blame a guy who had never even attempted a steal in his career.  Notice too that not many people try to run on Shoppach when he’s behind the plate.
  • Ellsbury and Gonzalez put on a hitting clinic in the 3rd inning when they both took nasty David Price pitches the other way for RBI base hits.  You don’t see hitting that good that often in the majors anymore let alone twice in one inning.  That’s how they used to teach you how to do it – just go with the pitch – starting all the way back in town baseball when I was younger.

So the Red Sox are 2-5 now and if they win today they will get the 3rd win.  Remember last year they didn’t win their 3rd until the 13th game of the season.  Clay Buchholz needs to do exactly what Josh Beckett did yesterday – locate his fastball better.  His breaking stuff was actually pretty good in his first outing so if he puts it together with his fastball he should bounce back much the way that Beckett did.

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About evonsports
30 year old sports enthusiast and aspiring writer from Boston.

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