Celtics

Red Sox fall to Indians, 1-0, swept in series

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Red Sox fall to Indians, 1-0, swept in series

By Sean McAdam
CSNNE.com

CLEVELAND -- The misery continued for the Red Sox Wednesday, shutout by the Cleveland Indians, 1-0, for their sixth straight loss in as many games to open the season, matching their worst start since 1945.

The two teams were locked in a scoreless pitcher's duel until the Indians broke through in the eighth. Daniel Bard walked No. 9 hitter Adam Everett, who stole second and took third on a sacrifice bunt.

Asdrubal Cabrera then perfectly executed a suicide squeeze bunt, scoring Everett from third.

The Sox wasted a terrific outing from starter Jon Lester, who limited the Indians to three hits while walking three and striking out nine. Lester's outing was the first quality start of the year.

The final out of the game when pinch-runner Darnell McDonald make too wide a turn at second and was cut down by Everett.
Star of the Game: Asdrubal Cabrera.

On Wednesay, Cabrera blasted a back-breaking three-run homer against the Red Sox to put the game away. Thursday afternoon, he was much more subtle, executing a suicide squeeze in the bottom of the eighth to account for the only run of the game.

Cabrera had struck out in each of his three previous at-bats against Jon Lester, but got the bunt down when he had to against Daniel Bard.

Honorable Mention: Jon Lester.

Lester pitched like a true No. 1 when he needed to -- seven shutout innings, three hits allowed, nine strikeouts --- though it didn't result in a win.

This was a different Lester than the Sox saw on Opening Day when he gave up three homers and didn't record a single strikeout. His velocity was better today as he did everything he could get the Sox into the win column.

One good thing from Thursday's start: it appears as though Lester has solved his early-season woes. In 2009, he didn't pitch well until mid-May; In 2010, he turned it around after four bad starts. This year? It took just one.

Goat of the Game: Daniel Bard.

Bard has now pitched in three games this season and has lost two of them. The first was Opening Day when he allowed a two-run pinch-double to David Murphy, which kicked up chalk on the foul line. Thursday, he came into a scoreless game and promptly walked the leadoff hitter -- No. 9 in the Cleveland order -- to begin the unraveling.

Turning Point: In a 1-0 loss, there are no shortage of key plays, including the Red Sox failure to break through with two runners in scoring position and two out in the eighth.

But the leadoff walk to Adam Everett in the bottom of the eighth has to be the choice here. Everett then stole second, took third on a sacrifice and scored the only run of the afternoon when Cabrera got down a perfect suicide squeeze.

By the Numbers: 1-for-14 - combined totals from Wednesday night and Thursday afternoon for the Red Sox with runners in scoring position.

Quote of Note: "We're frustrated as hell right now. We never thought we'd be here (0-6), but we are, so we've got to deal with it.'' -- Kevin Youkilis.

Sean McAdam can be reached at smcadam@comcastsportsnet.com. Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam.

BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

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BOSTON SPORTS TONIGHT PODCAST: Could Gordon Hayward return this season?

0:41 - Kyle Draper, Brain Scalabrine, Tommy Heinsohn, and Mike Gorman break down the Celtics loss to the Cavs and Gordon Hayward’s injury.

4:22 - Tom Curran, Michael Holley, Tom Giles, and Kayce Smith give their reactions to the gruesome injury to Gordon Hayward and how it impacted the game.

9:39 - Dr. Chris Chihlas joins BST to give his medical opinion on Gordon Hayward and if he thinks there is a chance Hayward could return this season. 

13:40 - Chris Mannix and A. Sherrod Blakely discuss what the feeling was like in the arena when Hayward went down but how there is actually a 'cautious optimism' surrounding the injury.

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

Jayson Tatum flashes potential with double-double debut

CLEVELAND – Jayson Tatum has seen plenty of games featuring Cleveland’s LeBron James.

And in the Boston Celtics’ preparation for Tuesday night’s matchup, the 19-year-old rookie had seen plenty of James on film.

But facing him, up close and personal, was something entirely different.

“He’s way bigger than I thought,” Tatum said. “He’s way better than I imagined. That’s the reason why he is who he is.”

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James’ play was among the key factors in Cleveland handing Boston a 102-99 loss on Tuesday night.

But Tatum showed he too has some big-time potential by finishing with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds which included some nifty drives to the basket as well as showing the ability to hold his own on the glass in terms of rebounding the basketball.

The last Celtics rookie to post a double-double on opening night?

That was Larry Bird back in 1980, helping the Celtics to a 114-106 win over the Houston Rockets.

What’s even crazier?

Bird had 14 points and 10 rebounds in that Rockets game, too.

Tatum’s solid performance didn’t seem in the making in the first half when Tatum had missed all five of his shot attempts while tallying just two points.

But as the Celtics mounted their comeback, Tatum’s play was a key to the team’s improved play.

“Just being more relaxed” was how Tatum described his improved play in the second half.

Tatum added, “first half, I think I was nervous and anxious. And then the game slowed down for me. That helped out a lot.”

And the Celtics will need even more from Tatum going forward after Gordon Hayward’s left ankle injury that will keep him sidelined indefinitely.

There was plenty of room for him to improve upon following Tuesday’s game.

But for the most part, head coach Brad Stevens liked what he saw from the rookie.

“Jayson was pretty good,” Stevens said. “He did a pretty good job for a first game. That’s pretty hard to do, to be thrown into this environment, first game and play that well.”

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