No Cubs were injured, anyway. Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers left with a knee contusion after this strange play at the plate in the bottom of the second [VIDEO].
It was such a routine toss back to the pitcher that NESN, the Red Sox network, cut away to a graphic and had to replay what was going on. Victor Caratini made a routine throw back to Yu Darvish, but the throw got away and Devers broke for the plate. Addison Russell picked up the ball and threw home, but Devers beat the throw. Unfortunately for Devers, it looked like his knee ran into Caratini’s shinguard. Devers left the game — hopefully, he’s all right. As for Caratini, after he briefly appeared shaken up, he stayed in the game and appears to be fine.
The Cubs scored a pair of runs off Rick Porcello in the top of that inning, one on a ground out, the other on a double by Javier Baez [VIDEO].
As expected, Darvish threw three innings and was charged with two Red Sox runs. One was unearned due to the aforementioned play at the plate (an error was charged to Caratini). Darvish didn’t strike out anyone, but there appears to be a logical reason for that:
Darvish said he experienced some difficulty throwing his breaking pitches Monday because of occasional gusts and concentrated later on inducing grounders.
The Red Sox’ winning rally in the seventh was off Carl Edwards Jr., who didn’t look sharp in this outing. As was his problem at times last year, walks got him into trouble. He issued a leadoff walk, then gave up a single and then walked the bases loaded. With nobody out, this is, as Jack Brickhouse might have said decades ago, “a recipe for disaster.” C.J. did get a force out at the plate, but then two straight singles gave Boston a 4-2 lead. On the second single, though, Jacob Hannemann made this nice throw [VIDEO] from right field to nail the trailing runner from first base for the third out.
If you watched the game you know that the crowd seemed nearly half Cubs fans, not surprising during spring break week when the team is playing regular-season games not far from this venue. Many people are making this a full-week trip and will be seeing the Cubs play in Miami over the weekend.
A bit of trivia: I found it interesting that the Red Sox wore their usual home whites, without any spring training logos, while the Cubs wore the same blue jerseys (with the unreadable red numbers) they’d worn in Cactus League play, complete with the “AZ” sleeve patch.
And so, there’s one final exhibition game Tuesday afternoon, before the 30 teams start play for real Thursday. Jose Quintana will have his “tune up” start, expected to go three innings. Pedro Strop will also throw in the afternoon game, and I’d guess we’ll hear about the final 25-man roster decisions shortly thereafter. Hector Velazquez, who has made the Red Sox rotation this year, will start for them. Game time is 12:05 p.m. CT. There’s audio coverage on cubs.com, and once again the Red Sox network NESN will provide TV coverage, available on MLB.tv. If you want a neutral broadcast, ESPN is also covering this game.
Site note: I’ve got some other articles ready to go this morning, so the game preview for this afternoon’s contest will post at 11 a.m. CT.