Full disclosure; I didn’t see much of the first few innings. The Patriots had their 2nd preseason game tonight, and watching every moment of their 28-0 first half seemed imperative. Frankly, I just haven’t had a chance for my Brady fix in months, so I had to absorb all I could while he was playing.
But, back to business. I made sure to see Lavarnway’s first Major League AB, and the fact that he wasn’t an odd shade of green and shaking uncontrollably proves his mental fortitude is far superior to my own. As exciting as seeing another Nava-esque one pitch, one HR scene would have been, Lavarnway made a good decision and stood there ’till he had a strike on him. While (so far) two straight fly-ball outs to medium depth might not be the most exciting debut in the world, I’m sure the Red Sox are pleased that he’s showing some plate discipline instead of hacking away at anything within visual range.
Good to see ‘Tek drive in Stifler in the 2nd; if the Sox are going to make a push into October (or even right the ship during this slump they’re mired in), the backstops are going to need to continue to produce. With Youkilis out for a couple weeks, Scutaro continuing to nurse some injuries, and Ortiz’s heel swelling up like a melon, the bottom third of this formerly vaunted Sox offense suddenly loses some pop. Tonight, 7-8-9 trio is Lavarnway, Varitek, and Aviles, and you better believe that Kansas City is just fine with that combination.
With Butler’s HR, Beckett has allowed a longball in eight of his last ten starts (11 total). Beckett has absolutely been sharp this year, the the numbers are starting to mount. He’s had trouble with that in the past (36 in 2006), but a bunch of those were solo shots. Hopefully this is an aberration rather than signs of what’s to come.
Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe tried to quench some of the fires starting to pop up about Adrian Gonzalez today in a post about the Sox recent skid. A-Gon is not a career .350 hitter, and PETCO park’s cavernous dimesions notwithstanding a move to Fenway wasn’t going to raise his career batting average 70 points. It is somewhat unnerving that he’s only hit 18 home runs this year, but 92 RBI’s and gold-glove defense at first on a .340+ hitter is something I’ll take every day.
I’m tired so this is going to be brief, but I’d like to say hello to Chuck Knoblauch who, after I made reference to him in my last post, is now following me on Twitter. I always knew you had good taste, Charles.