Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Felix Doubront didn't pitch as deep into the game as the Red Sox would have liked. But while he was on the mound Monday night, there were no complaints.
Doubront allowed two runs on four hits while striking out six against the Toronto Blue Jays. The only problem was, thanks to his pitch count, he was lifted after five, having already thrown 101 pitches.
"That was a really well-pitched game by Felix," gushed manager Bobby Valentine. "He took spring training right into the game. I thought he had great stuff. His curve ball was terrific. His fastball was moving."
"I was pretty much focused on throwing strikes," said Doubront, who set a career high with his six strikeouts. "I was focusing on keeping the ball down, no matter what. I threw five innings and kept the score like that and waited for the team to get some runs and win the game."
Hey look, we got a win! And a lot of the credit goes to Felix, who kept us in the game -- something Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz couldn't do.
Granted, it was a short outing. Felix had trouble throwing strikes, and on at least one occasion (in an at bat against Jose Bautista) showed a lot of emotion in not getting calls to go his way. Salty recognized that he might be losing his cool, went out to talk to Doubront, and they induced a popout on an excellent inside slider.
So no, it wasn't a perfect game. It wasn't a lock-down performance. It didn't rest our bullpen, by any means. But it got the job done. Perhaps most importanly: It takes some of the pressure of Daniel Bard in his start today. Pair that with Aceves' successful save and maybe we'll avoid some of the closer controversy.
On page 2, David Ortiz: Base Stealer.
The last thing anyone expected to see in the seventh inning of last night’s 4-2Red Sox [team stats] victory was David Ortiz [stats] taking off on a straight steal. The play certainly caught the Blue Jays by surprise, with catcher J.P. Arencibia having no choice but to fire from his knees.
Though his perfect throw nailed Ortiz in a bang-bang play at second, the play was significant from a Red Sox perspective for what it represented — an atypical aggressiveness that’s being emphasized by manager Bobby Valentine this season.
“I don’t know . . . a one-run game in the seventh inning is a little dicey, I’d say,” Valentine said. “(But) you know, it’s going to get guys to hold him on base and create a hole for the guys who are hitting behind him. I think it’s a necessary strategy.”
We're going to see a lot of different stuff this year with the Sox. No more conserving outs by all means. Bobby wants bunts, steals -- all kinds of "aggressive" strategies that will clearly identify this team from last year's.
I've got enough of a stat-y side to be skeptical of this approach, though I definitely buy into the idea that the threat of a steal is sometimes just as good as a steal itself.
That said, the strategy doesn't need to apply to David Ortiz. Papi made a pretty good attempt on the steal, and was thisclose to being safe, but let's not make a habit of it.
New Boston Red Sox manager Bobby Valentine is not off to the sort of start that anyone wanted to see, especially considering how disappointing last season finished. But after just three games, could Valentine already be on the managerial hot seat?
It may sound ridiculous, but there is a little bit of truth to that belief.
Valentine already had his detractors even before...
The Red Sox looked to Felix Doubront to put a stop to the skid that has started the Red Sox season. It was starting to have a very eerie feeling of 2011. Doubront came out like gangbusters in spring training and all of Red Sox Nation hoped he would do the same in his first start of the season.
(Photo Credit: AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)
Doubront did just that...
The Red Sox aren't exactly off to a good start, and much of Red Sox Nation already has plenty of questions about how this team will fare this season. The talent level on the Sox is undeniable, but with a 1-4 record through five games, the beginning of this season is eerily similar to the end of last season. That's not a good thing. There's still plenty of reasons to be...
This is why the top of the Red Sox rotation is so important. It is vital that the Big Three of Jon Lester, Josh Beckett and Clay Buchholz pitch well this season. There's too much uncertainty surrounding the back end of the rotation. Felix Doubront and Daniel Bard have three major league starts on their combined resumes. Bard hasn't served as a starter since he was pitching...
It was a first few games to forget for most of the Red Sox' pitchers, but Vicente Padilla did his job for Boston. Padilla came on in relief for Boston on Sunday and went four sparkling innings, allowing no runs as Boston's offense continued to produce. The rest of the staff blew two saves and allowed 13 runs. Don Orsillo and Jerry Remy make the case on Red Sox Gameday LIVE...
Jacoby Ellsbury always had hints of greatness. Fleet-footed in center, a terror on the bases, more than able at the plate -- Ellsbury was the proof that the Red Sox were doing something right on the farm. He was part of the next great wave for Boston. But before Ellsbury could fulfill all of those expectations, he went on a few injury detours. No one needs the gory details, but let...
Pawtucket Red Sox
It’s a shame that Iglesias is off to such a poor start, as Mike Aviles has been pretty terrible too. Lavarnway also has struggled early, going 0-4 today and hitting .167 so far. Middlebrooks wasn’t bad today, going 1-4 witha a strikeout. The PawSox were shut down offensively today, with the only PawSox players with good games are Che...
This isn't exactly how Red Sox fans hoped their team would rebound after its epic September collapse, but Bobby Valentine's group is sitting at 1-4 through five games, and there are still plenty of questions to be answered. Fortunately, NESN.com Red Sox reporter Didier Morais is ready to take a stab at some of those questions. They can range from how the Sox can solve their...
How can Jacoby Ellsbury follow up his 2011 season? After becoming the first Red Sox player to join the 30/30 club by hitting 30 home runs and stealing 30 bases, Ellsbury will likely be playing this year with a chip on his shoulder. He finished second in MVP voting to Justin Verlander, so it stands to reason he might have his sights set even higher in 2012 to get himself over the...
When the Red Sox celebrate the 100th anniversary of Fenway Park next Friday against the New York Yankees, the manager who was at the helm when Boston snapped their 86-year World Series championship drought won't be in the house.
Terry Francona, who unceremoniously departed from the Red Sox following last season's 8-21 finish, told the Boston Globe that he can't "...
After falling last night, the Boston Red Sox look to win the series in game three of a three-game set with the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
First pitch is scheduled for 12:37 p.m. and the game will be broadcast in the Red Sox television market on NESN. If you live in the Blue Jays television market, you can catch the game on Rogers SportsNet...
The last time the Red Sox and the Yankees were 0-3, you may have heard, was way back in 1966. A lot's changed since then, obviously, but NESN Nation's Dan Duquette ventured to take a look back and see what else happened in 1966. Maybe that year wasn't so bad after all. Join NESN Nation: In-game home page | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube
Well I really can't imagine a worse possible start for the 2012 Boston Red Sox as they were swept by the Detroit Tigers this weekend. It wasn't the fact they now begin the season 0-3, but more of the manner on how they lost each game. When they hit, they couldn't pitch, when they pitched, they couldn't hit. Today I'm doing a little better and...
Delivered to your inbox
receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web.
Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.