Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox


Notes: Reyes having control problems for Sox

By SeanMcAdam

CLEVELAND -- Dennys Reyes wasn't assured of a spot on the Red Sox' Opening Day roster until the day before the team left Florida. If he doesn't start pitching better soon, he may be the first player out the door.

Reyes had made three appearances before Tuesday night and though he was unscored upon, he had allowed the leadoff batter to reach in two of them.

For a lefty specialist, utilized mostly to get a key hitter or two, that's a recipe for disaster.

But Wednesday night was a new low for the veteran lefty. He entered the game in the bottom of the sixth, hit two batters and walked a third. Of the 12 pitches he threw, 11 were balls.

"He's not commanding,'' said Fracona. "We're all looking for that two-seam movement down in the zone, get some ground balls. But everything seems like it's up to his arm side. He's missing by a lot. He's just not commanding.''

"I couldn't command anything,'' said Reyes. "I was throwing behind my body. My mechanics were gone today. I take the fault for today's game. They gave me the game with the game close and I let it get away.''

The Sox have at least two other left-handed options at Pawtucket: Rich Hill and Hideki Okajima.

Outfielder Carl Crawford had his second two-hit game in the last three, but what stood out was his aggressive style when he got on base.

Crawford, hitting second for the second straight game, singled off pitcher Mitch Talbot's glove with one out in the second, then stole second.

In the fifth, he walked, stole second and took third on a groundout to the right side. Finally, in the seventh, he had an infield single to short and scored on Adrian Gonzalez's first homer as a member of the Red Sox.

The two steals were his first with the Red Sox. It marked the 57th time in his career that Crawford had a multi-steal game.

"When he gets on,'' said Francona, "he'll start using his legs and hopefully create some havoc. That's what he used to do against us.''

Daisuke Matsuzaka was tagged with the loss after allowing three runs on six hits. Like Josh Beckett the night before, Matsuzaka's night was cut short because of a high pitch count.

In five innings, Matsuzaka threw 96 pitches, nearly matching the 106 thrown over five frames by Beckett Tuesday night in the series opener.

''It took him until about the fifth inning before he was actually throwing more strikes than balls,'' said Francona. "That's just a hard way to pitch successfully. He didn't give up a ton of runs, but again, he's almost at 100 pitches after five. That's a hard way to stay out there.''

The loss was the first in Matsuzaka's career in Cleveland during the regular season. Before Tuesday night, he had made two starts, won them both and held the Indians scoreless over 15 innings.

Adrian Gonzalez hit his first homer as a member of the Sox, a two-run shot in the seventh off Frank Hermann. Gonzalez also had a double. Of the 10 extra-base hits the Sox have collected over the first five games, Gonzalez has three of them . . . Dustin Pedroia was 0-for-3 and saw his hitting streak snapped at four games.

Sean McAdam can be reached at Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

Report: Trump won't throw out first pitch

One White House tradition will have to wait, if it’s in fact maintained.

President Donald Trump is not going to throw out a ceremonial first pitch for the Washington Nationals this season, according to the Washington Post.

Post reporter Barry Svrugula wrote on Twitter on Tuesday that the White House declined an invitation from the Nats.

POLITICO reported early Tuesday morning that Trump was in talks to throw out the first pitch and that it was also possible he could spend an inning in the MASN booth.

President William Howard Taft began the custom of U.S. presidents throwing out a first pitch on April 14, 1910, at National Stadium in D.C.

According to The Week:

“Since Taft, every president not named Jimmy Carter has thrown out at least one Opening Day first pitch. The executive guests of honor followed in Taft's hefty footsteps, throwing the first ball from the stands, until the late 1980s when Ronald Reagan sauntered onto the mound and improved upon the tradition."

The most famous presidential pitch in recent memory is George W. Bush’s toss during the 2001 World Series at Yankee Stadium.

The Nats open their season on Monday at home in Washington D.C., in a 1:05 p.m. game against the Miami Marlins. A Nationals Magic 8 Ball is to be given away to the first 20,000 fans.

The Red Sox happen to play the Nats in a pair of exhibitions right before the season, on Friday and Saturday. Friday’s game is at the Nats’ home park in D.C. Saturday’s game is to be played in Annapolis, Md., at the U.S. Naval Academy.

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Christian Vazquez or Sandy Leon...who's the starting catcher?

Evan Drellich talks with Toucher and Rich about who the starting catcher will be and should be for the Red Sox. Christian Vazquez appears to be all the way back from Tommy John surgery. Can he hit?