April 1, 2013 Leave a comment
The good news is that for the first time since 2010 the Red Sox started 1-0. The better news is that for the first time since 2010 that the Red Sox will not be swept in the first series of the season. The new look Red Sox offense put a ton of pressure on Yankees ace CC Sabathia and Jon Lester got his first opening day victory in three tries for the Red Sox. Here are some quick, very premature thoughts on the first game of the season.
Jon Lester looked sharp in all but 1 inning but that 1 inning is a killer. Last year the guy would just lose himself at times and that is what led to his downfall. It happened again in the 4th inning but luckily he got it back in the 5th to finish out the start and get the win. Lester needs to eliminate that problem inning because the bottom line is he’s piling up too many damn pitches early in the game. He can’t rely on the bullpen all season long to clean up his messes.
- All that being said above the Red Sox bullpen did a hell of a job cleaning up his mess. It was an interesting strategy by Farrell to use virtually everyone but it worked out today. Andrew Miller showed how maddening he can be by walking the first two and striking out the next two. Bailey and Hanrahan both had some extra juice on their fastballs today, they may have been saving that stuff for the regular season. If the guys in the back end pitch like they did today this team will be tough to beat with a lead late in games.
The Red Sox offense did work without Napoli or Middlebrooks doing anything. Crazy as it sounds I’m not rushing Papi back because Jonny Gomes is a gamer. That was a great hustle play to score on Ellsbury’s infield single in the 9th.
- It was nice to see the Red Sox get back to basics overall. There was no half-assing on the base paths. Iglesias did what he had to do to get on base with a bunt single and two infield hits. Bradley walked 3 times, which is as many times as Crawford walked ALL SEASON last year. They worked Sabathia early and drove up the pitch count and he only lasted 5 innings. This is the kind of thing that you saw night in and night out during the Francona years and hopefully it’s a sign of things to come this season.
- I can’t believe I saw Jarrod Saltalamacchia walk 3 times in the same baseball game. I’ll wait and see if it was just an aberration or if he has finally learned how to take pitches.
It was a great start for the Red Sox no doubt but there is one thing that can’t be denied – the Yankees lineup sucks. Every time they started a rally they’d have a scrub like Lyle Overbay or Jayson Nix come up (or is it Lance Nix? I’m not even sure which one it was.) Guys like Vernon Wells, Travis Hafner, even Ichiro, these guys haven’t been any good in years and they are relying on them in key spots. You could see that Youk strike out against Bailey in the 7th coming from a mile away. Like we haven’t had that scouting report on him for a decade. And he’s their clean-up hitter right now.
- Joba Chamberlain looks like a jackass with his porn stache.
- The thing that I hate about opening day is they play the first game and you are all pumped up for baseball to be back and then they don’t play again for another day and a half. We’ll see if the Red Sox can make it 2 for 2 Wednesday night in the Bronx.