Saturday, March 07, 2009

Beckett Sharp Against Marlins...Lowell, Drew and Penny Health Updates

Good Saturday morning, a day here in north central Connecticut that will feature a big influx of warm air. Temperatures will approach and exceed 50 degees F. Meanwhile, down in Florida, Josh Beckett looked good in his second straight spring start. Here is his pitching line. Boston beat Florida 5-3. Here you go...

IP H R ER BB SO HR
J Beckett 3 3 0 0 0 2 0

Good for Josh. Okajima won the game although he was a little shaky. But it was a good effort by everyone who isn't partcipating in the WBC. Now, on to the injury news. JD Drew played his first game of the spring as the DH. There's no sense in hurrying him along. He had a hit and said this after the game...

"I felt good," Drew said in earnest. "We were just being cautious DH-ing today, see how things react. We're not really concerned. My swing doesn't feel good after a few days of not hitting off of live pitching. But I was able to go out there and have some good at-bats, so it worked out well. I'm sure I'll be back in the field," Drew said. "I think today was more a precautionary thing trying to work my way back in. I could have very easily played right field, I'm sure."

That makes me feel better. Red Sox manager Terry Francona added this, and then Jason Varitek added his opinion...

"I don't know whether anybody believes me," manager Terry Francona said. "But he is OK."

"He's proved when he's healthy and he's playing, he's a big part of our lineup," said catcher Jason Varitek. "When he's not, he's missed. When we lost David Ortiz last year, he pretty much carried us. He has that ability. We need to make sure he's healthy.

We need JD at 100%, and he has the time to get exactly there. Next, Brad Penny got a great report from the Boston doctor who is with the team. He was able to throw long toss from 120 feet and reported no pain, no problems. And THAT'S good. And last and perhaps most important, Mike Lowell is nearing the time when he will play in a game. Yesterday, he had this to say...

“I did more, but I didn’t get tired,” said Lowell, who is recovering from October hip surgery. “The other day, there was an imbalance between the hips and I didn’t really feel that today, so it’s another step in the right direction.”

Mike and the rest of the other hurting players have the time to take those "little steps" before the regular season begins. For that reason alone, I'm happy that spring training is longer this year and there's no trip to Japan.

I hope every one of you has a great Saturday and a terrific weekend. I'll be watching the noon CBS basketball game that features the number one UCONN'S mens basketball team playing at Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh beat UCONN in Hartford three weeks ago to knock them out of the number one spot, then prompty lost to Providence in their next game, putting Connecticut back in the top spot. This will be a war. The winner wins the Big East and if it's UCONN, will finish number one in the nation. Go Huskies! You can click on the title for more Red Sox news, and as always, BE WELL. See ya.

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