Monday, March 22, 2010

Paps Rocked...Daisuke Improves...Papi Will Wait...UCONN Dominates

I guess it takes a severe migraine headache to render Boston Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon helpless. It sure did yesterday. Before the game Jonathon took medication to stave off a mounting migraine. He lay on the floor of the clubhouse and let the meds do their job. They did...with a price. You see, that prescription medication minimizes the migraine but leaves one lethargic, without energy. His club was playing the Astros and he entered in the seventh inning of a 7-4 game. The Sox were ahead, but not for long. He allowed six runs on five hits in the rain-shortened affair. The important thing to him was that he got his work in. Boston manager Terry Francona, who did not know his closer's condition until after the game, said this...

“He took his medication and thought he was going to be fine and really wanted to get his work in,” said manager Terry Francona. “But you could tell just watching him out there he wasn’t himself.”

I'm sure he's OK right now and Francona probably wouldn't have let him pitch had he known how he felt. Hey, it's spring training...no biggie.

Disuke Matsuzaka is slowly improving. Yesterday, he threw 32 pitches against live batters. 18 of 'em were strikes and he allowed no runs. The Sox even manually put some men on base to allow Daisuke to pitch from the stretch. After the outing, he went down to the bullpen and fired 14 fastballs. The Boston Red Sox pitching coach said this after watching him intently. After all, he's the best pitching coach in either league and if he didn't want to stay with the Sox, he could manage anywhere. Here he is...

“I thought he threw the ball with good intensity,” pitching coach John Farrell said. “His arm slot was repeated throughout, not only his warmups, but the two innings out here and then another 14 pitches that he threw down in the bullpen. The intensity was clearly improved over his BP session of four days ago. So it’s another positive step for Daisuke."

Daisuke, Buchholz and Wakefield will be competing for the fourth and fifth spots of the rotation. The way Timmy has been pitching, in my mind he should be a lock.

Lastly, the Red Sox have the option of exercising a $12.5 million option for Big Papi David Ortiz in 2011. They're going to wait so that they can see how Papi performs in 2010 and that doesn't bother David at all. Here he is...

"I’m focused on playing, letting things happen, and at some point they’re going to come to me and say what’s up, you know? That’s how it is. It’s not like I’m going to kill myself because of it.”

The Boston Red Sox need, DESPERATELY need Big Papi to be a force in the middle of the lineup. I think he will do it. Don't you? Let me know.

Have a great Monday as the days of March dwindle down to few and then none. The UCONN women's basketball team decapitated Southern University in the first round of the NCAA championship by a score of 89-35. Southern was only able to score 10 points in the ENTIRE second half. Maybe the women's NCAA field should be trimmed. I don't know but the game was so lopsided, no more than a couple minutes of it was a part of ESPN 2's coverage. That'll change. Click on this post's title for more on the game and as always, BE WELL.

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