Sunday, April 3, 2011

Red Sox Recap: April 2nd

Game two of the 2011 campaign for the Sox did not turn out much better than the first. Yesterday's game had John Lackey on the mound against Texas's Colby Lewis. Lackey has been identified as one of the keys of the season, and he didn't get off to a great start. Lackey gave up 9 ER on 10 hits, including a grand slam to old friend Adrian Beltre after intentionally walking Josh Hamilton, all in just 3.2 innings of work. Headed into the bottom of the fourth, the game was tied 3-3 and the Red Sox seemed very much in the game. However, the Rangers blew up for six runs in that inning and the game was blown wide open.

On the other side of the coin, the Rangers offense looked really good yesterday, with every player in the starting 9 recording a hit. In total, they were able to put 12 runs on the board on 15 hits, including 9 of them for extra bases. In particular, 2B Ian Kinsler is currently on pace for 162 lead off home runs this year after becoming the first player in major league history to hit lead off homers in the first two games. On top of Kinsler's lead off and Beltre's grand slam, the Rangers' Nelson Cruz and Yorvit Torrealba also went deep.

As for the Red Sox offense, it didn't look very good relative to the onslaught being put on by the Rangers. There were a few bright spots, however. For one things, Ellsbury has looked good in the first couple of games. He was 1-4 yesterday, but getting on two times, and hit his first home run of the year off of Mason Tobin in the 7th inning. The Red Sox also got a two-run home run from David Ortiz, his second of the year, in the top of the 2nd, which gave them the lead at the time. Adrian Gonzalez also went 3-5 with a couple runs scored.  On the flip side, the Red Sox went for the second straight game without getting a hit out of the bottom 3 of their order. Also, Carl Crawford still has not been on base in these two games.

For today's game, Tito has made some changes. Here is the starting 9 for the Red Sox today. 

Jacoby Ellsbury, CF
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
David Ortiz, DH
Jed Lowrie, SS
Carl Crawford, LF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Darnell McDonald, RF

Notably, Carl Crawford has been pushed down the seven hole. When asked about it, Francona said "He's obviously trying too hard," and also added, "As soon as he gets on base and creates havoc, he'll loosen up and the real Carl comes out." At shortstop, Jed Lowrie will be getting his first start of the year and Darnell McDonald also will be starting in right. Clay Buchholz is going to be starting for the Red Sox against Rangers LHP Matt Harrison. First pitch at 2:05 ET.

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