They’re pitching against
different teams in different cities but I thought they could share a blog post.
Chris Tillman was almost perfect through three innings in Fort Myers.
Beltre reached on a wild pitch after swinging at strike three to lead off the
third inning. I’m hearing that the fourth inning was his only real bad
frame, as Dustin Pedroia doubled down the left field line on the eighth pitch
of the at-bat, and Kevin Youkilis homered to left.
Tillman lasted five innings,
throwing 70 pitches and allowed just those two hits and two runs. Not a bad outing
at all, considering the Red Sox starter-heavy lineup.
Boston’s manager Terry
Francona liked what he saw from the 21-year-old Tillman.
“Good, real good. They made some moves a couple
of years ago. The young kids weren’t ready to show it at the big-league level
but now, unfortunately, some of those kids are starting to mature and we’re
going to see them in the big leagues,” Francona said. “They
have a chance to be pretty good.”
Meanwhile, Brad Bergesen allowed two runs on three hits
over 4 2/3 innings against the Pirates. Bergesen had a nice outing after the
first, retiring nine of the last 10 batters he faced and picking up four
strikeouts. I didn’t track his pitches but it figures to be under 70, since
Bergesen has had one less outing than the rest of the regular starters.
Since I’m in Sarasota, I got to talk to Bergesen, who said pitching
coach Rick Kranitz told him after the first inning to slow things down a bit.
“When I slow myself down, I get in a rhythm and I kind
of free my arm up. Instead of trying to force it, I let my pitches happen on
their own and trust the pitches and trust the delivery,” Bergesen said.
“For me, being
able to get out there and make that adjustment, it’s huge. I think that was the
biggest thing to get me over the hump and get me back to my old self, getting
back to that tempo and being able to make adjustments like that.”