Down on the Farm...

Red Sox Spring Training

Hideki Okajima's on for the Sox as we enter the top of the 6th, still 2-0 Cincinnati.

Jonathan Papelbon just met with the media and said he was very, very enthused by his effort this afternoon. From a numbers standpoint, he wasn't as dominant as he'd been in his two previous outings against big leaguers, but he threw more pitches than expected (72) and said he went to his slider and curve with more confidence than he has so far this spring. Found it pretty interesting how he said that he slipped back into the closer's mindset a few times when he had runners on base, basically telling himself, OK, time to shut the door now. For whatever my humble opinion's worth, think this kid's gonna have a huge season.

Because of yesterday's rainout at Dodgertown, the Boston pitchers are all screwed up. Tim Wakefield pitched for Class-A Lancaster (of the California League) against your very own Fort Myers Miracle this afternoon. Apparently, the Miracle made you say 'Wow' all afternoon -- at Wake's knuckler, that is. He allowed two hits in five scoreless innings, with four strikeouts and no walks. He threw 58 pitches (47 strikes).

Meanwhile, J.C. Romero needed just nine pitches to get through an inning in his minor league start. He allowed a hit and had a strikeout. Brendan Donnelly...uh, not so good. In what will surely provide more "shouldn't be the closer" fodder, check out Donnelly's line against a minor league lineup: 0.2 IP, 4 H, 5 R, including a homer. The Sox PR department said there were some discrepencies in Donnelly's line, but unless somebody REALLY screwed up somewhere, it's safe to say it wasn't pretty. Stay tuned.

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