Three things we learned about the Red Sox in Game 2

Three things we learned about the Red Sox in Game 2
July 6, 2014, 10:00 am
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BOSTON - Three things we learned from the Red Sox's 7-4 loss to the Orioles in Game 2 of their doubleheader on Saturday . . .

1.) Stephen Drew may finally be past his spring training stage.

Fool us once, shame on you. Fool us twice, shame on us.

That may or may not be the story in a week or two if Stephen Drew goes 0-for-whatever starting Sunday.

But Saturday was his day. Not only did Drew homer in the first game of the double-header against the Orioles, but he did it again in the second game!

Those are his first two home runs of the season, for those of you counting at home.

Jonny Gomes said after the first game that he told Drew that players get roughly 70-85 at-bats in spring training, and that in his mind he's wiping off Drew's stats up until those at-bats.

Well, Drew is now at 73 at-bats after Saturday night, and it looks like he's finding his swing a bit.

"Like I told you before, just not being in this position before, I knew it was going to be different coming in and not having a spring training," Drew said after Game 2. "Not making excuses, you know. It's definitely coming along and getting some good ABs together and hopefully this thing will start clicking shortly."

It may be too little too late, but it also may not be. If the Sox don't go into sell mode and Drew's bat heats up a bit near the middle of the lineup (along with a couple other bats), the Sox could find themselves on the winning side of a streak for a change.


2.) The Red Sox probably could have used a player like Nelson Cruz, who oh-by-the-way was extremely available for nothing over the offseason.

Yeah, I get it. Nelson Cruz is a PED user. He cheated. He got busted. And by the sound of it he wouldn't exactly feel wanted in the Red Sox clubhouse.

That is, until he's mashing home runs all over for the Sox and winning games for his team and pitching staff.

I don't know why Boston didn't kick the tires on Cruz. Was it because he was fresh off the PED suspension? Did they not think he could put up solid numbers without the "help"? Maybe that's it. And maybe it's valid.

Because it surely isn't about the contract, something the Sox suddenly don't give out anymore. In fact, Cruz signed the most new-Sox contract around: One year, $8 million. He's a rent-a-player this year. He'll get paid next year.

The Sox needed power. The Sox needed an outfielder. They got neither.

While Cruz went 5-for-5 with a home run and 2 RBI Saturday night, the Sox outfield of Jonny Gomes, Daniel Nava, and Mookie Betts combined to go 2-for-10 with an RBI - and that's considered a solid night for Boston's outfield position.

In fact, here's Boston's current outfielder stats from the season - 12 home runs, 95 RBI (10 home runs and 78 RBI not including Brock Holt). Here's Nelson Cruz': 27 home runs, 70 RBI.

Nope, instead the Sox took a flyer on Grady Sizemore. Hey, why not?!

After watching the way this team has hit this season, PEDs don't sound so bad right now . . . kidding, kind of.


3.) Replays are still very annoying and too long - but perhaps there's hope for the future?

In the second inning, the Red Sox got the Orioles in a strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play - or so they thought.

Baltimore challenged the ruling, and it was eventually ruled that J.J. Hardy was safe at second base. However! Manny Machado was called out on batter interference as A.J. Pierzynski made the throw to second base. At that point, the play was ruled dead. That meant that even though Hardy was safe at second, he had to go back to first base. Machado was still out.

Did you get all that? It's OK if you didn't.

This review process took over five minutes long. Meanwhile, John Lackey is standing around on the mound trying to stay loose while throwing a few pitches.

In other words, it's not a good situation for anybody - the players, the fans - you name it.

But Lackey wasn't too critical after the game, instead pointing out that while it does take a while to review sometimes, the right calls are being made anyways.

"It's not ideal when you're 35 [years old] to stand around for five minutes," Lackey said. "It's probably something they could speed up a little bit, but what are you gonna do. I tried to throw a few pitches. I think it's something that'll get tweaked as there's more experience with the system. Overall, they're getting the calls right so I guess it's a good thing."

Saturday night's game lasted 3:36. In other words, just another night at the ballpark.