Well, it was a bit, emphasis on the “bit,” of a tighter ALDS Game 2 for the Boston Red Sox. Pitching seemed to be the issue during this game, though bats were “going steady” like two teenage sweethearts.
That said, John Farrell must come to the realization that sometimes he needs to pull his starters a bit sooner. Just a bit, I’m not talking a whole inning sooner. He just needs to know when to pull the plug. Our middle men were a bit exploited during this game, which is a phenomenon that leaves fans worried, or worse laying blame on the starter. John Lackey pitched a decent game Saturday night, not his best but still good enough to keep Tampa’s bats at bay. This leads me to impress upon you the importance of defensive play, the unsung hero of baseball.
What redeems this Red Sox team, game in and game out, is strong defense and, yes, a consistent offense. There is a lot of emphasis placed on offense in baseball because that is where all the action really happens save for a game saving catch, or a notable blunder. Game two showed the prowess of Stephen Drew, Dustin Pedroia, and first baseman Mike Napoli in the infield. Drew made a perfect opposite field double to left field in the bottom of the fourth, but he also made a great catch, near third base in the 8th inning. A couple of double plays were made or attempted. Defensive play is easily overlooked. Why? Fans love the bottom of the 8th homers by David Ortiz. Hey, don’t get me wrong, I love myself some Papi, but there is more to the 2013 Red Sox than an impressive offense. People need to know that good fielding is just as important as run production.
Hopefully, the Sox are showing the world through their work in Game 2 that they can go the distance because of their defense. They certainly have warmed this worried heart with their well-rounded play.