After opening Spring Training with a 4-4 tie with the hated crosstown Twins, the Sox are still without a win in Grapefruit League play.
On Thursday, the Sox fell 4-1 to Toronto. Of course, it was a split-squad road game, which means it wasn't exactly our A team. Kason Gabbard went up against Roy Halladay. The only starter in the lineup was Pedroia. Nothing remarkable about this game except that Spann doubled his error total to 4.
The Sox saved their big guns for Northeastern. Well, actually, most of the regulars don't go on road trips, and that's why. The Sox were actually held hitless until the 4th inning. Beckett struck out 5 of the 7 batters he faced.
On Friday, the Sox lost to Toronto in 10 innings. They started a potential regular season lineup, or at least the top of the lineup. Lugo, Youkilis, Ortiz, Ramirez, Drew, Lowell, and Crisp.
Snyder had a solid start, 2 innings, 0 runs, 1 hit, 2 walks, 4 strikeouts. Then Runelvys gave up 6 runs in the 3rd., off 6 hits. That's going to set him back in the race for a roster spot. Donneley had another nice inning, 1 hit, 2 strikeouts. Okajima pitched a perfect 5th in his spring debut.
The Sox took on Boston College in the night-cap of the split-squad doubleheader. It was Matsuzaka's debut. First pitch, he allowed a double. Then he allowed nothing. Retired the next 6 batters he faced, two by way of the K.
David Murphy had another good start, 2 for 2 with a walk, a steal, 3 runs, and 2 RBI.. I don't think Murphy will start out the season in Boston, not because he isn't good enough, but because the organization will want him to get a few hundred ABs this year down in Pawtucket. With Manny, Coco, JD, and Pena, Murphy would have trouble getting consistent playing time. However, with JD's injury history, Coco's lackluster season last year, and Manny being Manny, I wouldn't be shocked if Murphy made his way up and down I-95 a few times this year.
Saturday, the Sox lost another extra inning game, this time to Philadelphia. Wakefield had a mediocre start. Two innings, 3 hits, 2 runs (1 ER), 2 Ks. Jonathan Papelbon came on in relief, and was lights out. Two innings, no hits, no walks, 4 strikeouts. But then again, we already knew he was good in 2 or 1 inning sprints. It will be much more telling when we see Papelbon pitch longer stints. That's when we'll see him pitch against batters multiple times.
One of Papelbon's potential replacements as closer, Pineiro came in and had a blown save. 1.1 innings, 4 hits, 4 earned runs, 2 walks, and a homer. Romero replaced Joel, and the two combined for the loss of the lead.
Tavarez pitched a perfect inning, then Delcarmen allowed 3 runs in 0.2 innings. All in all, not a great day for Sox pitchers, but a good day for hitters like Murphy and Lowell.