This time, it put the Sox on track for their first victory of the season. In the immortal words of Gordon Beckham:
The mighty chi six one their first cactus league game today. #onaroll
Yes, the Wide Six finally tasted victory's sweet nectar, defeating the Seattle Mariners, 6-1, and it had several of your garden-variety spring oddities, such as:
The walk was even more unlikely considering Cesar Jimenez had Viciedo in a 1-2 count. That can be considered a fluke, since Jimenez isn't a major-league reliever, but earlier in the game, he fought out of a 1-2 hole to work the count full, and then dropped a single into right center off Luke French.
Even Tyler Flowers is off to a better start, as he drilled a two-run double into the gap. He went 2-for-18 last spring, so he's already half as productive in one-sixth of the at-bats.
So now it's Jake Peavy's turn, and with all due respect to his rotationmates, his start is the first important one of the spring. Peavy and Ozzie Guillen are locked in an intensity tug-of-war, but Tony Romeo, the Rush University Medical Center surgeon who operated on Peavy, says that he's on the right path.
Read this whole David Haugh column for more insight from Romeo, but here's an excerpt:
"Last July, I knew it would be conservative but my goal was to get him back one year after surgery,'' Romeo said. "My hope was by All-Star game he would be ready and the second half he would be outstanding. What I didn't know is he would progress even faster than that because this tendon is outside of the shoulder joint and the latissimus. We'll re-evaluate it (after Friday) and make sure we don't overdo it, as we have since the beginning.''
A meticulous recovery schedule began with six weeks of doing nothing, the toughest part for Peavy. Then Peavy started re-establishing a range of motion before beginning a strength program at the 10-week mark. Just before November, Peavy resumed throwing lightly. By the beginning of spring training, the pitcher Romeo called "the ideal patient who has been honest about his symptoms,'' had improved comfortably enough to throw from a mound.
"When we think of tendon healing to bone, the general guideline is he'll improve 10 to 15 percent a month,'' Romeo said. "Each step of the way he kept meeting milestones, never a setback. At six months, we thought he was at about 90 percent. If it was a rotator cuff we would be a little bit more worried but a latissimus, we don't really know how much it is used for the average throw.''
It's a shame this game doesn't have the webcast.