Red Sox - 202 000 010 - 5 7 1 Rangers - 110 300 04x - 9 10 1Adrian Gonzalez drove in three of Boston's first four runs (and stole the second base of his eight-year career!), Jacoby Ellsbury reached base four times and scored twice, and David Ortiz tied the game with an opposite-field home run off Darren Oliver in the eighth.
But Daniel Bard (0.2-4-4-1-1, 32) allowed four runs in the home half of the eighth. After a fly out, he walked Mike Napoli, and gave up a single to Yorbit Torrealba and a two-run double to pinch-hitter David Murphy. After a strikeout -- the game's only K among Boston's six pitchers -- back-to-back doubles from Elvis Andrus and Josh Hamilton pushed the score to 9-5. The Red Sox went in order in the ninth against Neftali Feliz.
Ellsbury doubled, singled, walked, and stole a base; he began the game (and the season) by reaching second when his routine fly ball was dropped for a two-base error. He scored on Kevin Youkilis's double. ... The bottom third of the lineup went 0-for-11, with a walk.
Lester (5.1-6-5-1-0, 88) allowed three home runs in a game for the first time in his career. (He has allowed two dongs 16 times, including five times each in 2009 and 2010.)
Jon Lester / C.J. Wilson
Jacoby Ellsbury, CFThere was some fuss in the past week about Terry Francona balancing the honour of starting on Opening Day with sitting some of his left-handed hitters against a tough lefty like Wilson. Lefties batted .144 with a .400 OPS against Wilson in 2010. Drew is 1-for-6 and Ortiz is 1-for-10.
Dustin Pedroia, 2B
Carl Crawford, LF
Kevin Youkilis, 3B
Adrian Gonzalez, 1B
David Ortiz, DH
Mike Cameron, RF
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Marco Scutaro, SS
Those samples seem quite small. And Boston's right-handed hitters haven't exactly feasted on Wilson either: Scutaro is 2-for-16, Crawford is 2-for-15, Youkilis is 2-for-7 (with two walks). Cameron, starting in place of Drew, is 0-for-3. The current Boston roster is a combined 11-for-73 against Wilson (.151/.244/.219/.463).
Baseball Reference says there have been only two complete games pitched on Opening Day in the last seven years (2004-10). The last Red Sox OD CG was pitched in NYC by the TCM, on April 7, 1992: 8-8-4-1-5, 100 - Yankees 4, Red Sox 3.
More than one pundit has said the the Red Sox could win 100 games this year. No Boston team has reached that milestone since 1946. Theo Epstein sets an annual goal of at least 95 wins -- which will usually result in a playoff spot. It's easier said than done, though. In the 110-year history of the Red Sox, only nine teams have ended the regular season with more than 95 victories:
Year GP W L T Finish 1912 154 105 47 2 1st in AL, Won World Series 1946 156 104 50 2 1st in AL, Lost World Series 1915 155 101 50 4 1st in AL, Won World Series 1978 163 99 64 2nd in ALE 2004 162 98 64 2nd in ALE, Won World Series 1977 161 97 64 2nd in ALE 2007 162 96 66 1st in ALE, Won World Series 1949 155 96 58 1 2nd in AL 1948 155 96 59 2nd in ALIn the Red Sox's other three championship seasons, their win totals were: 91 (1903), 91 (1916), and 75 (1918; shortened-season).
We talk all the time about trying to keep the line moving and not having easy innings. I think we have a group of guys that should make pitchers work. We have some speed, we have some power, we have some switch hitters. ... [But] If you don't pitch, it's really tough to be a good team. ...
I don't ever base my optimism on the pundits. I like our team. I like the way we worked in spring training. I like our talent. It's 162 games -- it's a long year. A lot of things happen, but we're excited. Now we have to go show it.