Buchholz hasn't felt anything 'negative' from back

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Buchholz hasn't felt anything 'negative' from back

PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- It was only nine months ago that pitcher Clay Buchholz was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his lower back, but as Opening Day draws closer, the Red Sox righthander isn't giving the injury a second thought.

"I've been past (thinking about it) for a while,'' said Buchholz after allowing a run on four hits over five innings in the Sox' victory over the Tampa Bay Rays. "There haven't been any (negative) responses (from the back). That's when I would back off a bit, but I haven't felt anything in a negative way.''

Catcher Jarrod Salatalamacchia is amazed that Buchholz made such a relatively quick comeback.

"The most impressive thing is, after the injury he had, I'd be a little scared about just letting it go,'' said Saltalamaacchia, "but he's been letting it go from (the beginning). And the commmand he's got right now, this early in spring. . . . I remember last year, that was his big struggle -- the command and getting through big innings."

"I'm glad to see him going out there, being healthy and pitching well.''

Buchholz featured his curveball more than usual in Sunday's outing "just to get a feel for it because when it's working, it's a good pitch for me.''

He also threw about 15 cut fastballs, a pitch he often sprinkles in when he's behind in the count. Whatever he threw, he was routinely around the strike zone, with 76 pitches, 58 for strikes.
Buchholz probably has three more spring starts and he plans to use those outings to work on getting ahead of hitters.

"I want to stay consistent with 'strike 1,' '' he said. "I felt like I was really good with 'strike 1' for the most today. It doesn't necessarily make the game easier, but it makes it
flow better whenever you're 0-and-1 instead of 1-and-0 and 2-and-0. That's been a big thing for me, even in my bullpens, spotting up my fastball early and throwing more of them. You're able to work off the fastball for other stuff.''

At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

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At the half: Sixers applying pressure early and often against the Celtics

The Celtics are getting more than they bargained for against the Philadelphia 76ers who are once again, record-wise, among the worst teams in the NBA.

They didn’t look like it in the first half which ended with the Celtics trailing the Sixers 53-45.

Boston came into the game having won its last four road games. And they did so by playing solid defense, something that has been noticeably absent in the first half.

Philadelphia came into the game as one of the NBA’s better 3-point shooting teams and has lived up to the lofty ranking.

In the first half Philadelphia made nine of its 18 three-point attempts while the Celtics are way, way, way at the other end of the 3-point shooting spectrum while missing eight of their 11 3s with Isaiah Thomas making a pair with the lone other made 3-pointer coming from Marcus Smart.

The defense struggled, the offense never had any kind of flow and not surprisingly, the Celtics found themselves playing from behind most of the first half.

Here are the first half stars from Saturday’s game.

STARS

Sergio Rodriguez: His playmaking was solid as usual, but it was Rodriguez getting it going with his jumper that really produced surprisingly strong results for the Sixers. He had 11 points, four assists and a steal in the first half.

Isaiah Thomas: Playing his game which is shooting and attacking the rim, Thomas was Boston’s lone double-digit scorer in the first half with 15 points which is tops among all players.

STUDS

Dario Saric: It was a solid first half as Saric contributed both on the boards and the scoreboard. He had 10 points in the first half along with five rebounds.

Gerald Henderson: Henderson had one of those high efficiency-type games with 11 points on 4-for-5 shooting.

DUDS

Celtics 3-point shooting: It was a miserable first half for a team that has been among the NBA’s leaders in 3-pointers made and taken this season. At the half, Boston has shot 2-for-10 on 3's.

Celtics defense: Boston has shown little to no signs of providing the kind of push-back they’ll need in order to leave Philly with a win. In addition to allowing Philadelphia to shoot 47.4 percent from the field, Boston also allowed the Sixers to knock down nine 3's.

Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

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Red Sox outfield "Win, Dance, Repeat" celebration finds its way on MLB the Show 17

Mooke Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and a mix of Andrew Benintendi, Brock Holt, Blake Swihart and Chris Young brought postgame celebrations to a new level last season.

Most Sox fans are familiar with the outfield victory "Win, Dance, Repeat" where the trio would dance and pretend to photograph the game's best player between them. The celebration ended with a pose at first, but as seen the MLB the Show 17's freshly released trailer, a few more wrinkes were added in.

In fact, here's a taste of the celebrations and what else to expect from Playstation's 2017 MLB game: