Another run for the Sox -- thanks in part to Bailey.
Those who were in their seats for batting practice were treated to an awesome display of power as Sox batters slammed shot after shot off and over the Green Monster. Even Jacoby Ellsbury, who has hit less home runs (five) in the past two seasons combined than he did in September of 2011, was making like Mark McGwire in the '99 Home Run Derby.
The pre-game crowd likely paid little attention to the mustached and bespectacled pitcher who was serving up the B.P. meatballs to Jacoby and Co. One perceptive media member, however, recognized the hurler's delivery and realized the Tom Selleck wannabee was actually Andrew Bailey in disguise.
Like Bobby V., Bailey couldn't stay hidden long.
The right-hander disappeared before he could be questioned, but when Boston manager John Farrell was asked about the incident after the game, he admitted that the mystery guy on the mound was indeed the same guy who had a 15.75 ERA in his last five appearances -- with just two saves in five chances and a pair of ninth-inning homers.
"Andrew has been getting the ball over plate too often, and we just can't afford to have that happening in the ninth inning of close ballgames,"explained Farrell. "Before the game gets started, well, that's another story. If he can get them over the plate with consistency during batting practice, it gives us a chance to get some real good swings in."
No more Bailey blown saves for a while.
According to team historian Dick Bresciani, this is not the first time the Red Sox have transitioned an active pitcher into the BP role. Calvin "Deer in the Headlights" Schiraldi spent a summer grooving balls for Dwight Evans and Wade Boggs in 1987, and John "Way Back" Wasdin lived up to his nickname on a daily basis in 2000. Carl Everett credited Wasdin for the best first half of his career that summer, but he slumped after Wasdin's late July trade to Colorado.
This one is going WAYYYYYY back.
Although Farrell says it's unclear how long Bailey will remain a pre-game regular, guys like Ellsbury, Dustin Pedroia, Daniel Nava, and Jose Iglesias (three hits apiece tonight) hope it will be a while.