FORT MYERS, Fla. -- At this stage of spring training, you can’t make it any more basic than Joel Hanrahan did.
“Really, I try not to embarrass myself," he said. “Throw strikes, and hope to feel good the next day."
Hanrahan was John Farrell’s choice to start the first exhibition action of the spring, the traditional doubleheader against Northeastern and Boston College. The Sox manager made it a bullpen day, cycling his relievers through 14 innings of work.
That was a departure from Hanrahan’s usual protocol, which he described thusly:
Second inning: stretch in the trainers’ room.
Fifth inning: Head out to the bullpen.
Sixth inning: Red Bull.
Eighth inning: Get up to stretch and jog, in anticipation of a ninth-inning call.
Thursday? Hanrahan, who was a starter throughout the minors and in his first year in the big leagues (2007), found his biggest problem was showing up early Thursday morning, then trying to fill the time until his first pitch to Northeastern. A called strike, incidentally, to Northeastern right-fielder Aaron Barbosa, who subsequently hit a catchable ball to left that fell untouched between Jonny Gomes and Jacoby Ellsbury, who assumed he was just backing up on the play.
“Bad execution of a pitch by me," Hanrahan said. “I had the guy 0-and-2, tried to go up on him, and threw it right down the middle."
Barbosa subsequently stole second base, but advanced no further.
“I think I heard the guy on second base tell Pedey he closed his eyes [on his hit]," Hanrahan said.
Hanrahan struck out two, hit a batter, and threw 17 pitches total, 13 for strikes.
“I was happy with how it went," he said. “I didn’t plan on hitting that kid [NU shortstop Jason Vosler, who took one in the leg]. Poor guy. But I threw strikes for the most part, and I was happy with that."