Bogey doesn't think hamstring injury is too serious

April 8th, 2022

NEW YORK -- For , the satisfaction of slapping a go-ahead RBI single in the top of the 10th inning on Friday's Opening Day at Yankee Stadium was washed away by the pain and concern he felt as soon as tried to run out of the batters' box.

The run swiftly turned into a hobble. Bogaerts suffered a right hamstring injury on the hit and exited the contest in the bottom of the frame.

In a way, that up-and-down sequence for Bogaerts was symbolic of the type of opener this was for the Red Sox in what wound up a 6-5, 11-inning loss to the Yankees.

It started out with promise, as in a two-run rocket to right field in the top of the first by  and a 3-0 lead by the time  threw his first pitch.

For the rest of the day, there were ups and downs. Here are the most relevant takeaways for the Red Sox from their first Opening Day contest against the Yankees since 2013.

Bogaerts optimistic
Though the Red Sox would have loved to win on Opening Day, the tradeoff of Bogaerts avoiding serious injury is something they will take.

And at least for now, that appears to be the case.

"Hopefully I come back [Saturday], I feel good and [I'll be] ready to go," said Bogaerts.

Perhaps Bogaerts did himself -- or at least his right leg -- a disservice by having three hits in the opener, matching his total from Spring Training.

"I don't know if it's because I didn't do much running during the games in Spring Training, I was getting only outs," said Bogaerts. "I got on base today a couple of times and I ran pretty hard right out of the gate, first to third. I should have hit a homer like Devers. First to third right away. Then I doubled down the line. I don't know, hopefully tomorrow it's good."

Will Bogaerts play Saturday?

"We'll know more later on today," said Red Sox manager Alex Cora. "We'll see how he reacts to treatment and all that stuff and we'll see how he feels tonight."

Verdugo flashes leather
The Red Sox have elite defenders in center and right in Kiké Hernández and Jackie Bradley Jr. Their left fielder reminded everyone on Friday that he's pretty good also.

came up with two sparkling catches in left field. The first came at the perfect time, as Verdugo stretched his glove as far as he could to take away what could have been a two-run double by DJ LeMahieu. That was the final pitch for Eovaldi, who left with the game locked in a 3-3 tie after five.

Per Statcast, Verdugo had a 30 percent catch probability, making it a 4-star play. He covered 43 feet in 3.2 seconds.

For context, Verdugo was 2-for-6 on 4-star opportunities last season.

"He has two really good guys playing with him and they talked defense the whole spring, or about his first step and all that and making adjustments," said Cora. "He made some great plays. When Dugie is locked in like that, it's fun to watch."

Robles makes quick entrance
It was eye-opening when  still was able to make the Opening Day roster despite pitching in just two Grapefruit League games after his late arrival due to visa issues.

Though Robles was in Fort Myers, Fla., for less than a week, Cora expressed confidence from the outset he could make up for lost time. The hard-throwing righty did just that on Friday, striking out Giancarlo Stanton for the third out of the bottom of the ninth, stranding the potential winning run on second.

"In his words, he probably had more innings [in Spring Training] than any of our pitchers because he went to the Dominican Academy and did an outstanding job preparing for the big league season," said Cora.

It was big for Robles to be able to come through in that spot, because Cora revealed after the game that Matt Barnes was unavailable due to back soreness.

Whitlock plan worked until it didn't
For several weeks, Cora plotted that he would use power righty for an extended relief outing on Opening Day.

When Verdugo gave the Sox a 4-3 lead in the sixth, Cora had the perfect opportunity. Whitlock came out of the gate in overpowering fashion, striking out three in the sixth while generating six swings and misses. It was more of the same in the seventh, a 1-2-3 seventh inning aided by Verdugo's second web gem of the day.

The Sox were just five outs away from victory when LeMahieu took Whitlock deep to tie the game at 5 on a 96.2 mph heater that was in the upper portion of the strike zone. It was a 1-2 pitch and Whitlock was hoping LeMahieu would chase.

Friday's misfire aside, Whitlock figures to again be as important as any pitcher on Cora's staff.