Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Red Sox Opening Day Thoughts

Here are some thoughts after the Red Sox beat the Yankees in Game 1 of 162 yesterday.

-Notice there was no flyover. That's because of sequestration. Fun fact.

-The 2nd inning epitomized the difference between the 2013 Red Sox and the 2012 Red Sox. In that inning we saw speed, effort, patience, and most of all hunger. Jackie Bradley Jr. beating out the throw to 2nd allowed that inning to turn into a crooked number frame, instead of just a 1 run inning. This team had no hunger in 2012, which is why they lost despite having so much talent. This 2013 team has less talent, but hopefully more hunger.

-This was felt more like Spring Training game than a typical Red Sox/Yankees game. There were many unfamiliar faces. There was no Jeter, no Ortiz, no A-Rod, and no beard on Youkilis.

-The Souvenir Store is already accepting orders for Jackie Bradley Jr. t-shirts. But let's not overlook the performance of the two stars in the lineup, Pedroia and Ellsbury. Pedroia was 2 for 6 with an RBI. Ellsbury was 3 for 6 with a triple and 2 RBI. Especially with Ortiz out, these two will be responsible for carrying the offensive burden.

-The Red Sox saw 190 pitches from Yankees pitchers. They only did that five times in 9 inning games last year (stole this note from WEEI). Jackie Bradley Jr. saw 26 of those pitches. Such levels of patience were absent in 2012, but were a hallmark of Red Sox Baseball from 2002 to 2007.

-Jon Lester sucks in the 4th inning. In 2012 Lester had a 6.75 ERA in the 4th, and opponents had a .906 OPS against him. Yesterday both his earned runs were allowed in the 4th, and the Yankees were close to inflicting much more damage than that.

-The bullpen looks deep, with lots of options, and lots of guys who can throw hard.

There are 161 games left so let's not go nuts. The Red Sox are only 68 wins shy of matching their total from last year, so let's be cheerful. It's too early to formulate any concrete conclusions. So let's speculate. This team is more interesting to watch. They're much more likable. They are getting 100% from their talent.

Clay Buchholz pitches tomorrow. He has always struggled in the Spring months of the season. Hopefully he pitches like it's summer.

Photo Credit:
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan