Weiland learns the hard way in MLB debut

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Weiland learns the hard way in MLB debut

By Jessica Camerato
CSNNE.com Follow @JCameratoNBA
BOSTON -- Kyle Weiland sat in silence at his locker on Sunday morning with his headphones on. The music coming through the speakers drowned out any noise going on around him in the Red Sox clubhouse.

The quiet was temporary, though. It wouldnt be long before he was surrounded by a stadium packed with over 37,000 fans, cheering and reacting to every pitch he threw in his Major League debut at Fenway Park.

The outing didnt go exactly as planned.

Weiland, 24, was called up from Triple-A Pawtucket to fill-in in an injury-stricken starting rotation. (He was 8-6 with a 3.00 ERA for the PawSox this season.) Red Sox manager Terry Francona said before the game that he looked excited and confident -- and it showed in his 1-2-3 first inning.

But the Orioles bats would not be so quiet in the second. They scored six runs off seven hits, including a home run by Derrek Lee. The Red Sox two-run lead quickly became a four-run deficit. Francona kept Weiland in the game, however, as the Red Sox fought back to tie the game at six apiece by the end of the second inning.

Second inning was a difficult inning, said Francona following the Red Sox 8-6 win. A couple of bleeders, a couple of balls hit really hard, a lot of hits and a lot of runs. Saying that, he stayed composed and gave us some more. At a point, you cant go too far. Alfredo Aceves (who began warming up in the bullpen) is pitching as much as he is down in the bullpen.

"Stuff was good, just didnt locate a couple and really paid for it. Hes probably not used to paying for it that much . . . in the minor leagues, maybe you get away with some of those. You throw it to Derrek Lee over the heart of the plate and it goes a long way.

While the runs stopped coming from the Orioles, Weiland faced a new set of difficulties. He hit Mark Reynolds with a pitch in the third inning, and after Jeremy Guthrie hit Kevin Youkilis in the fourth, both teams were warned. Weiland missed on a pitch to Vladimir Guerrero the following inning and hit him on the hand, leading to an automatic ejection of both him and Francona.

Not really the way Weiland pictured leaving the mound in his debut (13.50 ERA, 4.0 IP, 8H, 6ER, 2BB, 2K).

Its not exactly what you have written out and planned for, but it is what it is and it was a great experience, he said. I got the first one under my belt. Obviously I would have liked a few things to go different, got a little ahead of myself, things kind of snowballed on me in the second inning. But obviously having this Red Sox lineup supporting me is a luxury, so it got us right back into the game. After that I felt like I started to calm down and control the adrenaline a little bit more.

Aceves entered the game in place of Weiland, whom Francona said would not have continued to pitch much longer even if he had not been ejected, and helped keep the game under control for the Red Sox in their victory.

The debut -- ejection and all -- was a learning experience for Weiland. Later in the game Orioles reliever Michael Gonzalez and manager Buck Showalter were also thrown out as a result of the warning issued earlier in the game. It capped off a heated series between the two games that included a brawl on Friday night.

Obviously everything up here at this point is all new to me, Weiland said. So when the ejection happened I was like, well, thats the rules I guess. I didnt think the warnings were really warranted. Youkilis got hit on a changeup, so that was a little confusing that we got warned, but if thats the way the rules go, I know with the past few games you cant really do much about it and had to take a walk.

With his big-league debut in the books, Weiland can look back on it and grow. The Red Sox can also looked toward him in the future.

I thought he threw the ball much better than his results, said Jason Varitek, who caught Weiland. He learned a lot, hes come a long way from the last time I got to see him.

Jessica Camerato is on Twitter at http:twitter.com!JCameratoNBA

McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

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McAdam: Ridiculous to think Bradley's streak ended because he hit leadoff

BOSTON -- If you think John Farrell's decision to hit Jackie Bradley Jr. leadoff for one night is the reason Bradley's 29-game hit streak came to an end, I've got some swamp land you might be interested in buying.

Such silly talk first surfaced mid-afternoon when the lineup was announced. With Mookie Betts getting his first day off this season, somebody had to hit leadoff. Farrell went with the guy who was leading the league in hitting.

That sounds reasonable. But not to some, who cried that putting Bradley at the top was (take your pick) disrupting Bradley's routine, putting him in a place with which he wasn't familiar, or asking him to change his approach.

Of course, none of those made much sense.

First of all, Thursday night marked the sixth (SIXTH!) different spot that Bradley has hit during the hitting streak. He had hit second, sixth, seventh, eighth and ninth. So the notion that any change was disruptive was absurd.

As for the notion that Bradley would treat his at-bats differently because he was leading off? Also wrong. Bradley's major adjustment since spring training has been being aggressive early in the count. So, do you know how many pitches Bradley saw in four at-bats as the leadoff hitter? Eight.

Does that sound like someone who was being forced to be more patient for the night, or someone changing their approach by working the count more?

Finally, Bradley hit two balls on the screws -- one to the warning track in right, just in front of the bullpen in his first at-bat and another in front of the center field door, some 400 or so feet away, in his third.

Streaks come to an end, even when hitters belt the ball hard. Twice.