Abraham On Toucher & Rich: Breaking Down The Red Sox Bullpen
BOSTON (CBS) – The Boston Red Sox kicked off their 2013 season with an impressive 8-2 win over C.C. Sabathia and the New York Yankees on Monday afternoon.
Starter Jon Lester ran into some trouble in the fourth inning, and only went five, but John Farrell used his bullpen to perfection as his relievers shut down the Yanks for the final four innings — allowing just three base runners on a hit and two walks.
The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Tuesday, and said if Farrell uses his bullpen the right way, they may be able to steal a couple of wins for the Red Sox.
“(They say to) use your best guys when you need your best guys — not save them for certain roles or certain innings. That’s kind of what Farrell did yesterday,” explained Abraham. “When Andrew Miller got in trouble in the seventh inning when it was 5-2 and the Yankees had two guys on base, he brought in Andrew Bailey — who he was intending to use in the eighth inning, and who is supposed to be the ‘eighth inning guy’ — he brought him in to get that big out.”
Miller walked the first two batters he faced, but then struck out the next two. Farrell went to Bailey with Kevin Youkilis at the plate, and the former-closer struck him out swinging on five pitches to end any New York threat.
“I thought it was a good effective use of the bullpen, and he still had (closer Joel) Hanrahan for the ninth inning,” said Abraham. “When you have Bailey, Miller and Uehara behind Hanrahan, it will give Farrell the opportunity to do a lot more of that, which over the course of the season could get them a couple of extra wins.”
The other big story from Monday was the debut of rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. He made a run-saving catch in left field, and although he went 0-for-2 on the day, did other things at the plate and on the base paths to make an impact.
“In the second inning he fell down 0-2 to C.C. and came back to draw a walk; that’s impressive no matter if you’re a rookie or whoever you are,” said Abraham. “Then he was on first base, he beat a force throw to second that kept that inning going. The inning wouldn’t have ended, but it gave them a chance to score an extra couple runs because he was on base and it created some things.”
“That’s the kind of stuff we didn’t see a lot of last year; someone from the Red Sox beating what looked like a routine throw to second base. Later in the game we saw Jonny Gomes score from second base on an infield hit. It’s stuff like that we didn’t see last year, and even in previous years. The Red Sox were sitting around waiting for someone to hit a home run.”
“Those are two plays that help change this team, just the fact a guy can get his butt down from first base to second base and beat a throw.”
Also, will Jon Lester’s high strikeout total be a trend this season? And what’s the latest on DH David Ortiz?