Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here... highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
“You can practice all you want but until you step in that box and see 95-mph pitches coming at you, it’s going to be tough,” he said.
So he texted Red Sox hitting coach Dave Magadan around midnight on Wednesday with a request.
“I said can we get on the field, try to get some time, and crank that [pitching] machine up, try to get it to where it’s throwing 95 miles an hour,” Punto said. “I felt really good coming out of that. Since then I’ve been seeing the ball a lot better.”
Punto wanted to see some velocity in BP, which isn’t always easy off the regular BP pitchers, whose offerings are a good 30 or so miles less than what he wanted. He and Magadan got the machine onto the field before the series finale against the Tigers on Wednesday.
Punto knew something clicked.
“Timing is everything and when you get that machine cranked up you can’t be long [in your swing],” he said. “And my swing was a little bit long. We shortened it up.”
I was pleasantly surprised with Nick Punto's performance is yesterday's game, especially the home run. I had the highest expectations for Punto before the season began and my feelings quickly turned as the season began and progressed. I still don't like seeing Nick Punto in the lineup, but he did show us he can hit it anywhere. The home run was just a bomb that would make you think Ortiz hit it if you just saw the clip of the ball leaving the yard.
Nick Punto's 3-for-4 is just a flash and we probably won't see that again in the near future. It is fun to see the number 9 man, a .132 hitter to enter the game, put on a show like that.
On Page 2, Pedroia should be ready to play by Tuesday
Dustin Pedroia tested the stability of his injured right thumb Saturday, taking two rounds of batting practice before the Red Sox played the Blue Jays.
The first was in the batting cage under the third base stands. Then he took 25 swings on the field.
So, Dustin, how did you feel?
“How did it look?’’ he shot back with comic bravado, pleased with the assortment of line drives he produced.
Pedroia was wearing a molded plastic brace under his batting glove to protect the torn adductor muscle at the base of his thumb. The tentative plan is for him to take batting practice on Sunday and perhaps Monday when the team is off.
Barring a setback, Pedroia said, he would play against the Orioles Tuesday at Fenway Park. He has missed five games so far.
“We’ll see,’’ said manager Bobby Valentine, who is concerned that Pedroia could have some swelling after taking so many swings.
This is great news, but with concern surrounding it. We can only hope that this is not a rush decision to get Pedey back in the lineup. The last thing this team needs is a bad decision to rush Pedroia back in the lineup, resulting in a severe injury. All we can do is sit back and hope the injury does not become any worse.
Related: Herald: Thumb's up for Dustin Pedroia return to field
The rest of the links:
Globe: Felix Doubront helps Red Sox climb out of last place | Bobby Valentine excels at running of the bullpen with Red Sox | CSNNE: Doubront remains most reliable starter | ESPN Boston: Doubront continues to exceed expectations | Sox answer Punto's breakout with silence | Herald: New rule$ to cost Sox draft leverage | For starters, Felix wins | Kevin Youkilis too good to give away | No 2nd guessing Nick Punto