Tuesday, April 11, 2006
The Red Sox opened Fenway's 95th season with a 5-3 victory over the Blue Jays. Josh Beckett started and was a little out of control, but he settled down nicely. The Red Sox bats were solid, putting up a 4 spot early. Ortiz added to the lead with his first Fenway homer of the season.
The game started off poorly for the Sox. Beckett gave up a few base hits and walked in a run with the bases juiced. He then induced an inning ending double play. The Red Sox weren't able to do much until the 2nd inning.
Nixon led off with a walk, then Varitek singled, Lowell doubled to knock in Nixon. Stern doubled to knock in Tek and Lowell. Stern then stole 3rd base. Gonzales grounded out then Youkilis hit a double to knock in Stern. 4-1 Sox.
Both Beckett and Towers settled down. Neither team scored off them again. Ortiz hit a solo homer off Vinnie Chulk to make it 5-1. Foulke came in and didn't look too sharp but didn't look all that bad. He gave up 2 runs on a "homerun" which was partially caused by Willy Mo Pena screwing up in right field. The ball bounced off Willy Mo and into the bullpen for a homerun.
So the game was 5-3 in the 9th. Papelbon came in, got the first Blue Jay on a strike out. Two fly outs later and the game was over.
Beckett looked real good after he settle down. 7 innings, 3 hits, 4 walks, 1 earned run, 2 strikeouts, and 12 ground ball outs. After the first he only allowed 2 hits and 1 walk.
Youkilis looked good as a leadoff hitter and as a first baseman. He went 2 for 4 with a double and made a nice play on a foul pop.
Trot Nixon left the game early with a groin strain. It seems like every season, Trot Nixon injures himself earlier and earlier. No word yet on the extent or seriousness of that injury, but with Crisp on the 15 Day DL starting today, we really can't afford to lose another outfielder.
Dustin Mohr was called up to replace Crisp on the roster. They might keep him up in Boston considering Nixon's injury.
Stern did real well in the place of Crisp yet again. He went 1 for 4 with a 2 run double and a stolen base.
The Man of the Game is Mike Lowell. Lowell tied a career high with 4 hits in a game. He went 4 for 4 with 3, yes 3 doubles. He looks like he's gonna hit well in Fenway. I don't think people will be talking about slow bats and Mike Lowell for awhile.
Tomorrow night, David Wells takes the mound against Gustavo Chacin. Nixon probably wouln't have played in this game anyway against the lefty Chacin. Wells will attempt to match his starting pitcher counterparts in performances. Red Sox starters have gone 7 innings 6 out of 7 times this season.