Tigers - 000 000 000 - 0 5 2Today was a beautiful day: a World Series ring ceremony, nine innings of sun-soaked afternoon baseball, and an easy shutout victory.
Red Sox - 011 102 00x - 5 12 0
Matsuzaka (6.2-4-0-4-7, 109) was both economical and aggressive. He allowed only two baserunners through the first four innings. Detroit tried to rally in the fifth and sixth, but Dice stranded a total of five Tigers in those two innings to preserve the shutout. Odd note: Matsuzaka's four walks were awarded on only 17 pitches (three four-pitch passes and one with a foul ball thrown in).
Everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least twice except for Crisp (single, RBI, and made a couple of tough catches in CF) and Ramirez (on a triple into the triangle, he scored when the relay throw was wild).
Lugo, Pedroia, Varitek each singled twice; Lowell and Ortiz both walked twice; Drew singled and walked; and Youkilis singled twice, doubled, walked and drove in two runs. Lugo also scored two runs.
Delcarmen relieved Dice in the seventh and pitched 1.1 innings, allowing one hit and striking out two. Okajima pitched a perfect ninth with two strikeouts, although he needed 20 pitches.
Rogers (4.2-8-3-3-3, 107) had a tough time from the very beginning. Almost half of the batters he faced (11 of 25) reached base.
The Royals beat the visiting Yankees 5-2 (like Boston, KC had five runs and 12 hits). The Orioles won again and are threatening to run away with the AL East.
Kenny Rogers (134 ERA+) / Daisuke Matsuzaka (180 ERA+)
There are several annual holidays that each Red Sox fan observes: Truck Day, the morning when pitchers & catchers report to spring training, Opening Day ... and the first game of a new season at Fenway Park.
This is Fenway's 97th Opening Day. And here we are ... watching another group of Red Sox players receive World Series rings (only 1,093 days since the last ceremony!). The park opens at 11:35 AM and pregame ceremonies will begin at 1:15 PM.
Tito, on coming home: "Half of us will probably have clean underwear for the first time, so that will be good. How do you beat getting a ring and clean underwear?"
The three-country road trip may be in the players' collective rear-view mirror, but the schedule isn't getting much easier. Beginning with today's game, the Red Sox are scheduled to play 36 games in 37 days. Between now and May 14, there is only one off-day.