Quick thoughts from Boston’s exhibition openers vs. Boston College & Northeastern as the games play out:
- I am having myriad issues with MLB At Bat this morning. First, I’d forgotten to update my credit card information, so my subscription did not automatically renew. Then, the app itself was being buggy in not connecting with my MLB.com account. Once I finally got that settled, I discovered that apparently the WEEI feed isn’t hooked up to MLB At Bat today. Hoping this is just because it’s an exhibition game and not a trend over the next few weeks.
- Also, I’m getting a weird runaround on MLB.com, where it keeps giving me a cryptic message about not having any current subscriptions. And, it appears Gameday Audio is no longer being advertised as a standalone option under the subscriptions. That is a true shame.
- To the actual game, which I am now following on the play-by-play feed: Steven Wright strikes out four in two innings of work – 2 hits, 0 walks. Nice showing to open things up. He will figure into things before this season is done.
- Hanley Ramirez isn’t fooled by the college pitching – starts off 2-for-2 with a double. Also, and perhaps more importantly, zero errors at first base. What if first base winds up being the ideal spot for him?
- Mookie Betts starts the scoring for the season with a three-run home run to left in the bottom of the fourth. Allen Craig and Jackie Bradley Jr. had walked to get on base with one out. Just watched the highlight replay — impressive shot.
- 25-year-old Roman Mendez strikes out the side in the top of the fifth. Statcast gives him a 94.27 mph on his 4-seamer on average — roughly a 1 mph faster than the league average. His numbers in the minor leagues have been fairly good.
- Sam Travis doubles to right. There’s a lot to like about him – hits the ball hard, just looking for open space to put the ball, puts together patient at-bats, has played first base prior to this season … There is so much depth at first base right now, one has to wonder if a deal will be in the works before the spring is out to move a guy like Allen Craig or Travis Shaw? Or maybe Boston will just hoard the depth. Nothing wrong with that.
- While this game is going as well as these games can go, Detroit is currently struggling with Florida Southern – tied at 2 in the top of the seventh.
- Red Sox close out the win with little trouble. Detroit finishes with a five-run flourish over its final two frames to put away Florida Southern. That’s a wrap on the opening statements – inconsequential as they may be.
- Travis Shaw just taking it to Northeastern. A big hit for Bryce Brentz too. Those are two guys I’m looking forward to seeing how they stack up against real Major League pitching as the spring, and regular season for that matter, progresses. I am fully on the Travis Shaw fanwagon – currently tops in line to replace the void left by Daniel Nava in my fandom.
- Remember Boston struggled against both of these teams last season – beating Boston College 1-0 and needing extra innings to beat Northeastern 2-1. I’m breathing a sigh of relief, because these were the games last season where I started really wondering how bad it might get.