Three things we learned about Red Sox on Sunday

Three things we learned about Red Sox on Sunday
July 28, 2014, 11:45 am
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Here are three things we learned from Sunday's 3-2 win over the Rays.

1) The Rays have an unhealthy obsession with David Ortiz.
     
Last October, it was David Price who took exception to Ortiz admiring his home run power. On Sunday, Chris Archer voiced his own concern.
     
All of this is pretty silly. Ortiz's antics may not be everyone's cup of tea, but they're not new. Nor are they as egregious as some others' celebratory moves.
      
Star players usually are cut a little slack. Few - if any - complained when Rickey Henderson took his patented detours and swung wide on his way to first base when he homered and most just shrugged it off. Other stars have done likewise without their motives being questioned or their methods mocked.
       
Now, bat flip and a less-than-hurried pace around the bases is enough to incur the Rays' wrath.
        
And As many have pointed out, perhaps Archer shouldn't be the one feeling disrespected. Only last year, he kissed his biceps on the mound after striking out Daniel Nava.


2) Allen Webster was wild, but showed some growth on the mound.

Five walks in 5 1/3 innings is asking for trouble. Webster couldn't locate his fastball with any consistency and ordinarily, that doesn't bode well for a pitcher trying to win at the big league level.
     
But of the five hitters who walked, none came around to score and Webster overcame his control lapses by pitching out of difficulty when he had to.
      
That's a sharp contrast to his handful of starts last season when Webster seems to habitually suffer one bad inning where he failed to limit the damage.
       
It's unclear whether Webster will remain with the Sox in Jake Peavy's vacated rotation spot; Brandon Workman would have been their first choice but the spot didn't line up properly with Workman's schedule.
       
But either way, if Sunday is any guidepost, Webster has shown he's learned how to pitch out of trouble - an important step for any young pitcher.

      
3) The next few days will be fascinating for Jon Lester.
 
On Saturday, after the Peavy deal, Ben Cherington and Seth Levinson, one of Lester's agents spoke over the phone. Given that there are no current negotiations ongoing, it's safe to assume the purpose of the call was to discuss a possible trade involving Lester and/or his willingness to return as a free agent afterward.
       
Lester told the media Friday night that he wouldn't be upset by a deal nor would it preclude his return for 2015 and beyond. Perhaps Cherington wanted to hear that from Levinson himself.
       
Lester has done a terrific job in shutting out distractions this season but his biggest test will come in his next scheduled start Wednesday.

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