New bullpen faces for Red Sox make strong opening statement

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Jake Diekman dismissed the team in the ninth inning on Sunday, marking Greeley Tribune’s first win of 2022. Frank Franklin II / The Associated Press

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It certainly could have been better. And it could have been worse.

The Red Sox’s early lead in their first three games, each posting sloppy numbers in the first or second innings, was not too surprising. They regularly outnumber New York ace Gerrit Cole, and the offense was not a big question, despite the subtraction of Hunter Renfro and Kyle Schwarber.

That all those leads had gone up to the fourth inning? Yankee Stadium is going to be Yankee Stadium, and a rotation made assuming Chris Sell will be at or near the top of him who then loses Chris Sell… I really like Nick Pivetta, but I don’t like him as a No. 2 starter.

The opening weekend ended on quite a note, however, as newcomer Jake Dieckman cut through Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Joey Gallo to maintain a one-run victory. Talk about finding out how to make an entryway.

“He was the closest today,” manager Alex Cora told reporters. “He has done it before. I remember in 2019 he pitted against us at home and in JD [Martinez], It was July or so around that time, and he was like, ‘We need to get this guy.’ ,

Baseball seasons are long stories with short chapters, in which Diekman’s part makes it easy to savor the opening details. Alex Verdugo’s five hits, including A. also includes Classic Duggie Preen On a home run, and clean defense.

How much Kike Hernandez has learned to show Jackie Bradley Jr. in person, Robbing Aaron Judge of Additional Bases,

Rafael Devers needs two pitches to roll over, Bobby Dalbeco sunday savings,

But let’s talk about the bullpen, after throwing 13 innings of a run baseball in a performance that would have been too easy to miss if not for Dieckmann’s exclamation point.

The enduring story of the weekend will be Garrett Whitlock’s contract extension. An impossibly likable Georgian who has gone from Tommy John surgery in July 2019 as a Double A pitcher to a guaranteed $18.75 million in April 2022? You couldn’t make it. (he also has mild form of double visionLike the story needs more juice.)

When MLB.com ranked the Bullpen before the season, the Red Sox also created a “vote-getter” category, story noting The need for the Whitlocks to go into rotation will ultimately determine their depth. He and Matt Barnes, whom the Sox are optimistic could become available Monday, will fully form their backbone. (Rich Hill’s debut in Detroit was planned for Whitlock didn’t play a game,

But the three fresh faces we’ve seen this weekend have a say in how far they go.

We’ve already discussed Diekman, whose ability to bat and get groundballs with Oakland quickly acquired him.

“Angle on Fastball and Slider [is tough]Cora told reporters on Sunday.

She was signed to Matt Straum, who was lambasted by ESPN’s David Kohn on Sunday for needing to use more conditioner in the hair. apparently not cut in five years. This was when Strum worked up to the seventh with the dominant fastball that survived Tanner Hawke all night (and most of the spring).

Straum, 30, has bowled less than 30 innings in the past two seasons due to significant knee problems. But Cora watching him warm up as Whitlock pitched with a one-run lead on Friday – Straum came after New York were tied – makes it clear he will have every opportunity to earn a bigger role.

If there’s one hand in the group that essentially looks ready to channel Tampa’s ability to make quality relievers every year out of thin air, it’s Strahm.

And then there’s Cutter Crawford. He’s not technically a new face, having been called from Double A for an emergency start during Greeley Tribune’s September COVID outbreak. But he introduced himself to Baseball Nation on Sunday night with two steady innings, earning his first MLB win as part of the Core’s 5 2/3 shutout innings.

“We like him. He has the good stuff,” Cora told reporters. “He commands the strike zone. He’s really good at it.”

anymore forgettable, early start Against Cleveland, Cora told both the pitcher and the press that Crawford would return – “I know he’s going to contribute. He’ll be part of it.”

A strong camp meant that Cora would have to tell Crawford that she teamed up to start this year. On Friday, he was the losing pitcher when Josh Donaldson sent a three-hopper through the infield to score an automatic runner in the 11th. On Sunday, he dropped three of the four hardest-hitting balls in the game and a Gleber Torres double.

But he worked out a second and third, one-out jam in fifth, hit Anthony Rizzo and Aaron Judge back-to-back in sixth, and walked away with dazzling praise from Coen and plenty of others.

“I got the lineup card sitting in my chair,” Crawford told reporters. “I expect it to be framed and mounted on the wall.”

It’s a game between the opening three, the start of six months of trying to build into trends before individual events are ready. The Sox are sub-.500 and new forms are coming to Detroit, which led the White Sox to drop two of three only once and had as many errors as Sunday’s hit (2).

Michael Coven makes his first debut on Monday. That’s what Rich Hill does – and in at least this, his 1,784th stint with the Red Sox – Tuesday, with Nate Iovaldi facing old pal Eduardo Rodriguez on Wednesday.

The games are back, and the feeling-out period is underway.

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