Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Spring Training Opening Day Red Sox Lineups

Yes, it's THAT time of the year. Tomorrow (Thursday), the spring training games begin in earnest for the world champion Boston Red Sox. And here are the two lineups for that Boston team we love. This is from the Hartford Courant...

Against Boston College: Jacoby Ellsbury, CF Dustin Pedroia, 2B; David Ortiz, DH; Mike Lowell, 3B; Jason Varitek, C; Kevin Youkilis, 1B; Julio Lugo, SS; Bobby Kielty, RF; Brandon Moss, LF. Pitchers: Josh Beckett, Kyle Snyder, Javier Lopez, Manny Delcarmen, Bryan Corey.
Against Northeastern: Coco Crisp, CF; Alex Cora, 2B; J.D. Drew, RF; Manny Ramirez, DH; Sean Casey, 1B; Chris Carter, LF; Doug Mirabelli, C; Jed Lowrie, SS; Keith Ginter, 3B. Pitchers: Justin Masterson, Craig Hansen, Michael Bowden, Craig Breslow, Hunter Jones, Kyle Jackson.
Peter here. Daisuke Matsuzaka will make his first start on Friday, and he seems to be much more comfortable in this, his second MLB season. This is also from the Courant....

"The first pitch was a fastball, pounded down deep into the strike zone. J.D. Drew could not catch up, a swinging strike.
The next pitch was a changeup, arching down and away from Drew's bat as he swung again. Another strike.
Finally, Daisuke Matsuzaka, his hips wiggling as he paused at the apex of his familiar windup, went to the slider. Swing and a miss.
"I think my overall condition is very good right now, and in comparing it to where I was last year at this time, definitely better," Matsuzaka said through interpreter Masa Hoshino. "I feel like I'm moving forward one step at a time."

Peter back again. Don't you feel more confident in this new, second year version of Daisuke? I know I do. And I know one thing...Daisuke is determined to erase our memories of his near .500 season last year. It bothers him, and I know he'll do his best to better that mark. He's seen most if not all of the opposing AL hitters, but they've seen him, too. I think he can avoid the mistakes he made last year. His biggest mistake was relying on the fastball too much instead of his astounding off-speed breaking stuff. This year other teams will see ALL of Daisuke's pitches, and if he finds the strike zone, which was a major problem last year that lead to 5 or 6 inning stints instead of at least 7, he'll match last year's win total and cut his loss total immensely.

And so tomorrow, it begins again! When I saw those lineups while reading the Courant sports pages this morning, spring seemed so close. I guess it is, but as long as there's a thick blanket of cold white fluff on the ground, it's hard to get in a baseball state of mind. But I hope I helped. Click on the title of this post for more on Daisuke Matsuzaka, in a Michael Silverman Boston Herald article. Click away, and as always, BE WELL. Your comments are so welcome, you wouldn't believe it!


At 2/27/2008 9:58 AM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

You're right Peter, Daisuke needs to find that strike zone more consistently with his breaking stuff. Hopefully, without all the hype and pressure heaped upon him, he will be able to concentrate more on his job. We need our #2 guy to keep getting better. Have a good day & Go Sox!

At 2/27/2008 10:27 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

BFW, hello. And yes, yes and yes. Thanks.

At 2/27/2008 3:03 PM, Blogger Bosox Fan in Wichita said...

Oh, and Peter, thanks for those lineups. That just gets me all keyed up thinking about those guys playing ball tomorrow. College ball has already started here, Sox on NESN Friday & I'm ready to watch me some baseball!

At 2/27/2008 5:19 PM, Blogger Peter N said...

BFW, that's exactly how I felt when I saw the lineups too!

At 2/27/2008 8:19 PM, Blogger redsox.njdevils said...

I can't watch the game like you because I live too far away to get NESN, but I'll definitely be listening on MLB Gameday Audio (not exactly at 1:05, though, because I'll still be in school)!

It's been great reading what you have to say during the offseason, so I can't even think of how cool it will be to read stuff here after actually watching (or listening to!) a real game!

At 2/28/2008 10:57 AM, Blogger Peter N said...

Thank you Brittany. I try my best. These games today (Thurs.) are not televised by NESN, and I'll slowly but surely heading into Hartford for dinner and to see my favorite band in the whole wide world. Your words are so sweet, and I too cannot wait for the season to begin. Thank you! SO MUCH!


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