It was a solid all-around performance by the Red Sox, who can take away a number of positives from their first win of the season.
Starter Jon Lester went five solid innings during the game against fellow southpaw C.C. Sabathia.
Lester scattered five hits and two earned runs over his five innings, while striking out seven and walking two. After suffering through a 9-14 record and 4.82 ERA last year, Lester looked a lot more like the pitcher who won a combined 65 games the previous four seasons.
WEEI’s Alex Speier reported that the lefty showed a nasty cutter and a fastball that sat in the 92-94 mph range. He also threw 63 of his 96 pitches for strikes, indicating strong early-season control and command.
The Red Sox bullpen allowed just one hit and two walks over the final four innings, including perfect one-inning stints from new relievers Koji Uehara and Joel Hanrahan.
Rookie outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. looked like a seasoned veteran in his major league debut, walking three times, scoring twice and knocking in a run. He also made a rangy catch in the third inning off a deep smash from the bat of New York second baseman, Robinson Cano.
MassLive.com’s Evan Drellich tweeted that Bradley was the first major league player with three walks in his debut since 2000:
Bradley Jr is 1st major leaguer with 3 walks in debut since 2000 (MIN's Danny Ardoin) and 1st Red Sox to do it since Joe Lahoud in 1968.— Evan Drellich (@EvanDrellich) April 1, 2013
Among his three hits, Ellsbury had a triple and two RBI, providing fans with a glimmer of hope that the talent of the player who finished second in the 2011 AL MVP voting still exists after an injury-plagued 2012 season.
Iglesias’ three hits came as he fills in while Stephen Drew recovers from a concussion. While they were all infield singles, they were still a pleasant surprise for the Cuban youngster. Iglesias has seen his prospect status slip because of his inability to hit.
It’s just the first of 162 regular season games for the Red Sox, but it was an impressive start for a team desperately needing redemption after last year’s disaster. With so many positives coming from their first victory, the team and its fans have a lot to look forward to as they see if such success can be sustained.
Statistics via Baseball-Reference