BOSTON After an outstanding performance by Josh Beckett Sunday night and taking two of three from the Yankees over the weekend for their first wins of the season, it would be understandable if the mood in the Red Sox clubhouse Monday afternoon were a little more upbeat.
But, manager Terry Francona hopes observers see no difference.
As much as we love to win, I hope that when we come into the clubhouse the next day it's hard to tell, he said. That's what were striving for because it's a tough way to go through the year. If you walk through the clubhouse the next day and you're basing your feelings on what you did the night before, it's hard. Try to come in the same way every day. But when you see Beckett pitch like he did, it's exciting.
But, he was happy for his team to start settling into the routine of the regular season, putting Opening Days and the Yankees series behind them.
Its nothing against the media but theres a lot of people that you see once and they all want part of your day, he said. Itll be nice to be able to go out and play. Yeah, I agree with that. Whether you call it getting into the grind or whatever, but getting into our normal routine and taking our BP at our normal time, theres not a lot of stuff going on. Yeah, it does help.
With the win Sunday, Beckett improved to 1-1 (2.08 ERA). It was his 11th career game with 10 or more strikeouts, sixth with the Red Sox, and first since July 27, 2009, against Oakland.
Daisuke Matsuzaka is making his 100th career start, posting a record of 46-28 overall, with 544 strikeouts. Since 1919, he only Red Sox pitcher with more strikeouts at that point in his career in Roger Clemens with 646. The only pitchers with more wins are Clemens (56), Boo Ferriss (55), Tex Hughson (50), and Mel Parnell.
Matsuzaka enters the game with a career record against the Rays of 2-6 (5.09) in 12 starts. In three starts in 2010, he was 0-2 (8.62).
Francona said Adrian Gonzalez, who was hit on the left hand and the right pinky and ring finger by a CC Sabathia pitch, was fine.
Carl Crawford is equally surprised by his current teams and old teams starts.
"I'm surprised about that, he said. It's funny the way things work out.
He still keeps tabs on his former team and teammates.
"It's my former team so you watch them a little bit, he said. I'm close to the guys over there so you watch them a little bit. We're friends. At some point we're going to play better just like I think they're going to play better. They have a good pitching staff. Their starters are really good. They got guys in the lineup who can hit. Just got to be careful with them."
Crawford, who is hitting just .132 entering Mondays game, doesnt feel that he has been pressing at the plate, but might have been earlier in the season. Although he went 0-for-5 yesterday, he hit the ball hard in several of his at-bats.
"I wasn't pressing yesterday, he said. Hitting ball well. Just got to find the hole. I hope I'm turning the corner. Things haven't been going my way so far. Just have to keep playing.
Francona, likewise, does not see his lead-off hitter pressing.
Francona sees a couple of reasons for his teams struggles with runners in scoring position.
One is you probably try to do maybe a little too much, he said. The other things is like last night Sabathia, hes a pretty smart pitcher too. The things we talk about when we go into a series, theyre doing the same thing and hes able to navigate around some people. Thats just the nature with good pitchers. Theres certain guys theyre going to stay away from and theres not much you can do about it.
Crawford will receive his 2010 Gold Glove and Silver Slugger Awards in an on-field pregame ceremony. It was the first time he has earned each honor.
With left-hander David Price starting for the Rays Tuesday, Francona said outfielder Mike Cameron may get a start.
Jason Varitek turns 39 today.
Maureen Mullen is on Twitter athttp:twitter.commaureenamullen