Saturday, April 2, 2011

Red Sox Recap: Opening Day

Well, the 2011 season did not go as expected for the AL favorite Boston Red Sox yesterday in Texas. The Sox lost 9 to 5. Things got off to a pretty crazy start right off the bat as Ellsbury hit a fly ball into right field, only to have center fielder Julio Borbon run into right fielder Nelson Cruz, even though Cruz was clearly in position to make the catch first. That led to a 2-run first inning for the Red Sox, with Adrian Gonzalez picking up an RBI in his first at bat as a Red Sox. However, in the bottom of the inning, on just his second pitch, Jon Lester gave up a solo shot to leadoff man and 2B Ian Kinsler, which couldn't have taken more than 2.0 seconds to leave the yard. That was just the beginning of a day that was full of struggles for the Red Sox ace. Lester ended up lasting only 5.1 innings, giving up 5 ER, 3 HR, 6 hits and 0 strikeouts. It was the most home runs he's ever given up in a game, and the second time he's ever failed to record a single strikeout in a start. 

When Lester left the game, the Red Sox were down 5-4, and couldn't get much of anything going on offense. Matt Albers came on in relief of Lester, making his first appearance in Red Sox uniform, lasting an inning without giving up a run. They then called out another newcomer Dennys Reyes, who pitched to just one batter and allowed a four pitch walk. After Reyes, the Red Sox turned to yet another newcomer Dan Wheeler came in to throw 0.2 scoreless innings. The Red Sox's chances were looking more and more bleak until old faithful David Ortiz hit a solo shot in the top of the eighth to tie the game. However, Bard came in right after this and gave up 4 runs in just 0.2 innings of work, while looking terrible in the process. Wakefield came in to finish the 8th, and 2010 ROY Neftali Feliz closed out the game for the Rangers

Thoughts and Other Game Notes
  • Carl Crawford did not look good. He was 0-4 with 3 strikeouts and a weak line drive. To me, he looked like he was pressing at the plate, but I have a feeling we'll forget about this in a few games.

  • The same goes for Jon Lester. He typically struggles in April, so Red Sox nation need not panic about Lester's less than stellar start. Give him time before the panic begins.

  • The Red Sox looked solid in the first six batters except Crawford, but the last three guys, Cameron, Saltalamacchia and Scutaro, looked bad last night. They were a combined 0-11 with one walk. Obviously, the team is going to need more than that.

  • The Red Sox used six pitchers last night. It will be interesting to see how they deal with that tonight.

The Red Sox will be back at it tonight at 8:05 ET, with John Lackey going up against Colby Lewis. I'll be on Twitter @Red_SoxThoughts

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