Monday, April 6, 2015
Opening Day 2015 Red Sox 8 Phillies 0
Photo: Dustin Pedroia, in Baltimore, 2012. From his Wikipedia page.
It's just one game. But my observations so far:
--You can't ask for more than 7 shutout innings from Buchholz. He struck out 9 and allowed only three hits and a walk. He'll face teams better than the Phillies this year, but he came through in a start in which he had to show he could step up and be the Jon Lester fill-in. He did that.
--And don't miss the work by the unknown starting catcher (with Christian Vazquez on the shelf), Ryan Hanigan. He called a good game and caught a good game, and even had a base hit and a walk.
--Dustin Pedroia, of course, had two homers and two Gold-Glove calibre plays. Good to see that his finger injuries are behind him for the first time in a couple of years.
--And Hanley Ramirez's 2 homers and 5 RBIs, including an Opening Day grand slam.
--And Mookie Betts had a homerun, a walk and a single so far. Experts have picked him to lead the league in runs scored. Let's hope he does.
--Pedroia had seven homers all of last year, and has had two already. Thou shalt not try to sneak a fastball inside on Pedroia.
--Or Mookie Betts, apparently. Also, Mookie Betts has one of the great baseball names today.
--As does umpire Fieldin Culbreth. That's right: Fieldin.
--Pablo Sandoval turned two walks into two outs when he flailed on garbage with a 3-2 count on him each time. He needs to take more and sport a better OBP. But he's clearly a better fielder than Middlebrooks was. I'll say it again as I said it frequently last year and already this year: I do not miss Middlebrooks. Except for how he kept Jenny Dell happy, of course.
--Jenny Dell can do better, by the way. The word is that she's actually a very nice person. She'll talk to anyone, and went to a kid's prom, and didn't just treat it as a publicity stunt. She'll sign and take pics without a problem, too.
--Speaking of Salad, I dedicate this year's blog posts to ya, big guy. Thanks for all the games.
--First up: April 14th, the second Fenway game of the year. Against the Washington Nationals, so I'll probably blog about their pitching staff--the best since the Braves' staffs of the mid-90s.