Back again! Let me tell you this straight off the bat: JetBlue Park at Fenway South is NOT a fun place to do a TV broadcast. I spent about 5 hours in 85 degree heat laying cables all over the place because of their lack of accessible cable panels. I’m surprised I’m not a lobster right now. Anyway, onto the game…
The Yankees brought a shell of a lineup other than Gardner and Granderson…I believe Chavez and Andruw Jones were batting 3 and 4. Yikes. Starting for the Yankees was Adam Warren, who did surprisingly well facing a Red Sox lineup including almost every regular. However, in terms of velocity and control, I didn’t see anything that made Warren look that special…Red Sox timing was just a bit off for most of the night. Nova is a pretty solid comparison to Warren, albeit with less velocity. Still, props to him on a job well done.
Dellin Betances also made an extended appearance for New York, and to be honest I wasn’t all that impressed. When I saw him start Game 162, he had dominating stuff. Control wasn’t perfect, but he made the pitches when he needed to. Today, his velo didn’t top 91 and his curveball was all over the place. No doubt he’s going to be a solid Major League starter with his stuff, though. Hopefully as he progresses through Spring Training everything comes back to the September form I saw last year.
Highlight player for the Yanks in this game was shortstop Doug Bernier, who went 2-3 with 2 RBI. Although, in 3 AB he only saw 8 pitches, so I doubt that’s something he can keep up without a little more patience.
As for Boston, regardless of how they performed in this game, that lineup is stacked from top-to-bottom. There isn’t much more to say, only that they are only going to get better once Crawford is healthy and back in there. Not sure how long they can rely on McDonald, Ross and Sweeney for 2 spots in the outfield. The AL East is going to be a serious handful this year.
Aaron Cook showed some signs of life early on, but as he tired his sinker started to rise and he started to get hit. Should be a solid #5 starter for them, though. As long as he can get through 5 and pave the way for Melancon, Bailey (and potentially Bard, depending on circumstances) they can generally win on the days he starts. Speaking of Melancon, he had a perfect inning in this game, and his velocity and movement looked great. Given his spring numbers, this looked to be the exception and not the rule…but this should become the rule going forward. He’s too talented to not be an effective piece in that pen.
In terms of the park itself, other than my TV-related bickering, it is absolutely gorgeous. The Fenway-like replicas are pristine and unlike it’s sister park to the North, there is a beautiful view from every seat. Concessions are solid (although not as varied as Bright House Field in Clearwater) but also expensive. Parking was in a huge field to the side, seemed fairly orderly and quick-moving.
Next stop here is Orlando and the Wide World of Sports. See you soon!