Heading into Fenway Park after a 1-5 road trip to begin the 2012 campaign, the Boston Red Sox had a sea of doubt surrounding them. Being trampled with memories of their infamous 2011 collapse last September, many were claiming that the Sox were a fourth place team at best.
Limping into a long home stand with some of the best competition in the American League, Boston was set to face the Tampa Bay Rays in their 100th anniversary Opening Day. Although only in April, it has been clear that this home stand would be vital for the Red Sox.
Today, the Boston Red Sox finally returned home to Fenway Park, and following the beautiful opening festivities, the Red Sox gave the fans their moneys-worth by trampling the Rays in the first of a three game series by winning 12-2.
Josh Beckett had pitched an amazing game, throwing eight innings and allowing only one run. The offense complemented Beckett's performance kindly as well, scoring twelve runs, including an eight run eighth inning.
Despite the loss of Jacoby Ellsbury in the fourth inning due to an elbow injury that's severity has yet to be determined, Boston proved a lot of critics wrong with this strong win.
Throughout their first six games, there had been many concerns with Josh Beckett's ability to contribute to the club this season as well as the strength and consistency of the offense. Today has proved that neither should be a true concern moving forward.
While only being one game, their great performance proves that they can still hang with the other elite teams of the American League and still hit with the best of them. Every member of the lineup contributed either with their bat or with their glove (see, Cody Ross) and made this an Opening Day to remember.
Although in the grand scheme of a 162 game long season, this win does not determine much, it does show that the Red Sox are not a team to count out. For all the naysayers that claimed Boston won't be a factor in this year's playoff thus far this season, you are sorely mistaking.
The Red Sox have two formidable aces in their rotation, and still one of the most powerful lineups in the game. Despite having some key flaws and injuries, Boston is still just as competitive as ever. Today, they proved not to be overlooked by one poor start.