Reporting Live From City of Palms Park
ProBaseball-fans.com Boston Red Sox Correspondent Elizabeth Dreeson brings us her latest update on Red Sox Nation.
It is clear why Spring Training is held in places like Florida and Arizona—it is perfect baseball weather. Walking into City of Palms Park provides a similar tunnel experience to other ballparks. As you climb the stairs to the lower seating bowl, the brilliant blue sky expands into a baseball diamond with palm tress in the distance. Unlike other ballparks however, the Red Sox dugout is on the third base line, and the visiting team is on the first base line.
On February 28, the Red Sox welcomed Northeastern University and sent pitching prospect Kris Johnson to the mound. Johnson gave up only one hit over two innings and struck out three. Pitching prospect Dustin Richardson followed and had two strikeouts, while exhibiting good mechanics and good command. Junichi Tazawa, a Red Sox pickup during the offseason, threw two innings and struck two and displayed a nice breaking ball. Prospect Felix Doubront followed with a nice three up, three down inning, and helped lead the Red Sox to a 14-0 victory over Northeastern University.
Third base prospect Angel Chavez provided six RBIs including two home runs, one of which was a grand slam. He has great form, and is solid on the defense. Josh Bard, returning to Boston, also collected a home run and got some wood on another ball, it just wasn’t long enough. Jed Lowrie, in his quest for the starting shortstop role, had a bases clearing double. Jacoby Ellsbury ripped a triple into deep center, which could have been an inside the park home run had he not been stopped over at third base.
At 7:05pm the Red Sox played the Cincinnati Reds and sent Clay Buchholz to the mound. Buchholz gave up one hit over two innings and struck out one, and had a nice three up, three down first inning. Ramon Ramirez followed with a perfect inning and struck out one. Javier Lopez came in after and allowed one run on one hit and three walks in one inning. Manny Delcarmen and Billy Traber (Red Sox pickup from the Yankees) combined for two scoreless innings of relief, followed by Wes Littleton (pickup from the Texas Rangers) and Fernando Cabrera who combined for two earned runs each. Daniel Bard pitched a perfect ninth inning and struck out one.
Julio Lugo, Jed Lowrie’s adversary, went two-for-three with an RBI, and looked great defensively. Brad Wilkerson, picked up from the Blue Jays in the offseason, hit a home run; prospects Chris Carter and Nick Green also looked great both defensively and offensively. Jason Varitek, JD Drew, and Jason Bay also collected doubles.
The Red Sox have looked pretty good in Spring Training thus far, despite their losing record. The thing to remember about Spring Training is not to look at the scores, but to look at the statistics.
By: Elizabeth Dreeson
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