The Red Sox picked up their first win with Blake Swihart behind the plate Tuesday night. (Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Why Red Sox' first win with Blake Swihart behind plate meant so much to rookie

Ryan Hannable
May 05, 2015 - 7:16 pm
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Catchers don't get win and loss check marks next to their names after games, but Blake Swihart felt like he started his major league career with two L's. One of the Red Sox' top prospects, Swihart made his major league debut Saturday afternoon against the Yankees after Ryan Hanigan fractured his finger Friday night and the switch-hitter was summonsed to the big leagues. The Red Sox fell to the Yankees 4-2 Saturday afternoon, and then fell 8-5 Sunday night in his second start, and the 23-year-old took those losses hard. "First one, after the game I was stressed out just because I wanted it so bad, and that is what it's all about here is winning," Swihart said. "I almost took it like it was my fault because I was back there catching because I want to do everything we can to win." After resting on Monday, Swihart went out and caught Rick Porcello Tuesday. Despite it being the first time the two had ever thrown to one another -- spring training game, bullpen session, etc. -- the two worked extremely well and Porcello tossed seven shutout innings, as the Red Sox snapped a four-game losing streak with a 2-0 win over the Rays. "Getting that first one out of the way is very special," Swihart said. Porcello went seven shutout innings, while scattering eight hits, not issuing a walk and striking out six. "It went great," Swihart said. "The tempo of the game was awesome. The last few days we talked about a game plan that we wanted to do and we went out and executed and like I said, I am still learning these guys, so just trying to do everything I can to help them out." The rookie got a lot of praise from the seven-year veteran in Porcello following the game with how well he did catching him for the first time. "We talked a lot, he did a great job back there," Porcello said. "I had not thrown to him once, I didn'€™t even throw a bullpen to him in spring training, so we definitely talked a lot about our game plan and what we wanted to do to guys. He really did an outstanding job, especially not catching me before. Hats off to him."€ With Swihart coming up sooner than the organization arguably would have liked, the young catcher who wasn't even a full-time catcher until he was drafted, has had to put in a lot of work in getting to know an entire new staff, all in the midst of a stretch where the team has struggled, losing seven of their last ten and the starting rotation having the worst ERA in the majors at 5.73 going into play Tuesday. Learning all new information with some pressure to win, the biggest thing to ease his transition has been the confidence of the pitcher he's catching that given night. Going by how Tuesday went, the Red Sox are hoping Porcello's strong start Tuesday starts the string of many more. "When the pitcher is confident I am confident," said Swihart. "When he's confident in all of his pitches and throwing the ball with authority it's going to be a good day."

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