Saturday, March 04, 2006


Curt Schilling went against the BC Eagles and threw 4 innings allowing only 1 hit. He struck out 3. James Vermileya and Jimmy Serrano pitched the final 3 innings of the 7 inning exhibition game combining for 1 hit and 5 Ks. Willie Harris saw his first action, playing in center field and leading off. He went 1 for 2 with a double and a run scored and a pair of RBI. Mark Loretta also had his Spring debutgoing 1 for 1 with a double and an RBI. Trot Nixon went 0 for 1, Mike Lowell went 1 for 2, Youkilis continued to struggle going 0 for 1, and potential backup catcher Josh Bard went 1 for 2. The Red Sox got 10 runs off 14 hits and won 10-0.

Matt Clement started the night game against the Northeastern Huskies. He went 2 innings allowing a hit (which was a solo HR), an earned run, and striking out 4. Coco Crisp played in his second game of the Spring, going 1 for 2 with a run and an RBI. Tony Graffanino went 2 for 2 with a homer, a run and an RBI. J.T. Snow made his debut going 1 for 1. David Murphy continued his short slump, going 0 for 2. John Flaherty went 0 for 1, and Enrique Wilson went 1 for 2 with a run scored. Overall, the Red Sox had 9 runs off 11 hits and won 9-2.

Red Sox newly acquired short-stop Alex Gonzalez returned to Red Sox camp after spending the day in Clearwater with team Venezuela. Venezuela does have Ozzie Guillen and Omar Vizquel at short-stop. Gonzalez was the hero of the Carribiean World Series for Venezuela, batting over .300 and scoring the winning run of the final game. I can't say I'm upset that Alex Gonzalez will have 3 weeks in Sox camp turning double plays with Mark Loretta. Actually, I'm happy.

''If I thought about how I felt last year in my best start and ranked it, today was in a different stratosphere from a physical standpoint -- as far as how I felt -- compared to any time, at any point last year,"

''I think I can be better than I was in 2004 simply because I have 2004 to use as an experience," he said. ''I'm a year smarter on the hitters in this league, a year smarter on the rigors of pitching in the American League as opposed to the National League, so I don't go into any situation looking to duplicate something I've already done. I'm trying to do something I've never done before."

''The two big things that come out of this game today for me, that I wanted from an approach standpoint, were how I felt and my velocity,"

Schilling estimated that his fastballs were between 92-94 MPH consistently. He seems pretty upbeat, but then again, he always seems upbeat. Time will tell. But if he's healthy, watch out.

According to Papelbon and the Red Sox training staff, Papelbon did not receive a major injury when hit by a batted ball in between the heel and the ankle. The ball came just below the ankle which Papelbon was thankful for. Had it hit the ankle, it could have been serious. Papelbon remarked: ''Hopefully, the Big Man above was watching out for me." I think he's talking about Jason Varitek.

It is still unknown as to what substance Keith Foulke has had injected into his knees. Rumor has it that it is a chemical that replaces the fluid surrounding the knee with healthier fluid.

The Asian group in this competition was somewhat of a joke. Japan, one of the top baseball countries in the world, home to Ichiro Suzuki, Hideo Nomo, and Hideki Matsui, has dominated their competition and clinched a spot in the elimination round. Japan beat China 18-2, and Chinese Tapei 14-3. Korea was less impressive with their 2 wins, beating Tapei 2-0 and China 10-1. When I first heard that China was in the competition, it was somewhat confusing. Then when I saw that they were in a group with Japan and Korea, I knew they had little to no chance to even win a game.

Today, the Red Sox play the Pirates in Grapefruit League play, Boston College finishes their first ACC regular season at home against Virginia Tech, and the Bruins play the Sabres.