Boston Red Sox Opening Day Quick Hits
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Both the Red Sox and the Texas Rangers seemed like they were still playing a spring training game.
Each team made early, generally inexcusable errors, while both C.J. Wilson and Jon Lester did not have complete command of their pitches, often missing spots.
For the Red Sox, there was certainly a lot of bad (considering they lost the game), but a lot of positives came from Game 1 as well.
I’ll start with the negatives so we can end on a high note!
1. Jon Lester pitched poorly. He recorded zero strikeouts for the first time since 2008, and gave up three home runs for the first time in his career.
The silver lining? He was able to tough out 5.1 innings, and seemed to gain command towards the end of the game, retiring six straight batters at one point.
2. Daniel Bard had an atrocious outing. Part of it can be attributed to the lack of velocity on his fastball (most of his pitches were around 95 miles per hour, instead of 99), but even with the decreased velocity Bard was missing his spots.
Velocity will come as Bard continues to ramp up from the offseason, and he's the type of pitcher who throws a streak of scoreless innings and then has a horrible game.
Will the Red Sox win the AL East?
Hopefully, he got the bad game out of the way early.
3. Carl Crawford and the bottom third of the lineup combined for zero hits. Crawford’s 0-fer is not concerning given that he has never hit C.J. Wilson well, batting .133 against the pitcher for his career.
What is concerning is that the bottom three hitters (Mike Cameron, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Marco Scutaro) had no hits. Keep in mind, Cameron is a career .260 hitter and Saltalamacchia only hit .167 last year.
Scutaro is not worrying, since he has been a consistent on-base guy and is a patient hitter, but when J.D. Drew is not playing against lefties, the Sox have a major hole in Cameron and the fairly unproven Salty.
If Saltalamacchia can put up decent numbers and put up an OBP higher than, say, .335, the problem will be less significant, but he is certainly a question mark.
1. David Ortiz hit a home run. Enough said, given his struggles in the early goings of the past two seasons.
2. Jacoby Ellsbury is back. He was a monster during the spring, and his torrid hitting is carrying into the season. He looks comfortable again.
3. The Sox lineup is unquestionably one of the most dangerous in the league, and if the bottom hitters can get on base the offense should have no problems.
To sum up, there was a lot of bad, but a lot of the negatives can be attributed to early-season rust evident on every team
The Red Sox certainly have a bright season ahead of them.
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This article was initially featured on NewEnglandSportsOnline.
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