FORT MYERS, Fla. -- In the Spring Training stat book, Sunday's performance will go down as a blown save for new Red Sox closer Joel Hanrahan.
But the fact that it came in the sixth inning of a Grapefruit League game -- and that it involved two errors, two unearned runs and a broken-bat hit -- makes it evident that there's not much for Hanrahan to be upset about.
"I got some ground balls, broke some bats," Hanrahan said after his outing against the Yankees. "There were some positives to be taken out of it. I got my pitch count up. My arm felt good. I felt like I was throwing the ball pretty well and I got a couple of ground balls, that double-play ball where the guy broke his bat. It's still early."
Of all positions at Spring Training, closers are perhaps the toughest to evaluate because they hardly ever pitch with the same adrenaline or the same circumstances as in the regular season.
"Like I said, it's March 3 -- you're trying to get some work in," Hanrahan said. "Obviously we were winning 1-0 and I didn't want to give up a lead. The guys before me threw the ball well. You can still get work in. I think I struck out the first guy, then broken-bat hit and things kind of unfolded from there. I think I threw the ball all right and there's stuff to still work in. Some of the stuff I've been working on worked."
What is the main thing Hanrahan is working on at this stage?
"Just trying to get familiar with the catchers, for one," said Hanrahan. "[David] Ross and I, we had a talk the other day about some things, where he wanted the ball in. We accomplished that today. Besides that, just getting to know each other, what do we want to do on two strikes? I told him, 'I liked what you did, I just didn't execute my pitches.'"