Red Sox notes: Valentine doesn't believe in momentum

796362.jpg

Red Sox notes: Valentine doesn't believe in momentum

BOSTON -- The first inning has been the toughest inning for Josh Beckett this season. In 15 starts, he's allowed 17 first-inning runs for an ERA of 10.20.

Beckett faces the Toronto Blue Jays at Fenway Park tonight, and Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine doesn't believe that those first-inning woes will be an issue.

"I think he'll get by the first inning without a problem, and I think he'll build on his start from last time," said Valentine before the game. "He's feeling good. And I'm really confident that he's going to give us a chance to win this game."

The Red Sox are coming off a dramatic walk-off win over the Chicago White Sox in which they also saw a dominant eight-inning performance from Clay Buchholz. The night before, they crushed the White Sox 10-1.

But even with those two wins, Valentine doesn't believe any of that will carry over to tonight against the Blue Jays.

"I don't believe in momentum," said Valentine. "I mean, I think that you could have momentum in a game and in an inning, but I don't think yesterday necessarily carries over, other than you have a good feeling when the game starts.

"You know, 10 runs on Wednesday, sometimes maybe you get a little overconfident. Everyone gets hits and they figure it's going to be easy. It's never easy at the Major League level, never. And as soon as you think it is easy, that's when it gets really difficult."

--Reliever Andrew Bailey (thumb) threw off the mound today, and he'll throw another bullpen session on Sunday. After that, Bailey could possibly throw to hitters on Wednesday.

"I don't think he has a health issue to deal with any longer," said Valentine. "He now just has the conditioning, a pitch build-up, and the competition challenge ahead of him."

--Reliever Rich Hill (elbow) is still throwing off flat ground and long toss, but he's healing "really good" and is pain free in all of his programs, according to Valentine.

"He's getting close," said the Red Sox manager. "He's feeling good."

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

Wright extends scoreless streak to 9 1/3 innings in Red Sox' 10-7 win over Pirates

The angst surrounding the David Price- and (possibly) Drew Pomeranz-less Red Sox starting rotation may have eased a little -- or a lot -- on Thursday.

Steven Wright extended his string of scoreless spring-training innings to 9 1/3 by blanking the Pirates for 4 1/3 innings in his third spring-traing start, leading the Sox to a 10-7 victory over the Pirates at SkyBlue Park.

Red Sox-Pirates box score

Wright allowed two hits -- the only two hits he's allowed this spring -- with one walk and three strikeouts.

Several of his pitching brethren, notably Heath Hembree and Robbie Ross Jr., didn't fare nearly as well. (See box score above.) But the Sox -- using what may be their regular-season batting order for the first time -- bailed them out with a 16-hit attack, led by Dustin Pedroia (3-for-3, now hitting ,500 for the spring). Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Jackie Bradley Jr., and, yes, Pablo Sandoval each added two hits. Sandoval also drove in three runs and is now hitting .362.

Xander Bogaerts went 1-for-4 in his return to the Sox from the World Baseball Classic.

 

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

A hungry ballplayer: Ex-Sox prospect Moncada once ate 85 Twinkies a week

This isn’t your average young and hungry player on the brink of the big leagues.

Yoan Moncada, the ex-Red Sox prospect who was one of the principal pieces in the trade for Chris Sale, ate 85 Twinkies in a week, his agent told ESPN The Magazine

David Hastings, Moncada's agent, clarified to CSNNE that this was a one-time thing when Moncada first arrived in the U.S. Moncada had never had Twinkies before, Hastings said, so he was like "a kid in a candy store."

He's still in great shape. Moncada had a huge spring training with the White Sox after a disappointing major-league debut with Boston in September. 

The 21-year-old third baseman has been optioned out of big-league camp, so he’s slated to start the year in Triple-A. But he hit .317 with a .391 on-base percentage and .683 slugging percentage and 3 home runs in 41 at-bats — some of the best numbers anywhere.

Moncada took a $31.5 million signing bonus from the Red Sox, money that the Sox turned into Sale. Moncada, meanwhile, didn’t exactly invest every cent.

Twinkies weren’t his only indulgence. 

More from the story: 

Moncada had money to spend on drones, video games, toys and clothes. He sometimes spent $1,500 or more during nights out, David says. After he purchased the second $200,000 car, Josefa [Hastings, David’s wife] tried to talk some sense into him.

David Hastings reinforced to CSNNE that the message to Moncada was to invest in things that appreciate in value.