Red Sox - 101 020 004 - 8 9 1 Phillies - 000 000 000 - 0 3 0Well, there's a lot, a lot of offense there.
We knew the Red Sox would hit. And from the first inning in Philadelphia, they did. Dustin Pedroia whacked a solo home run to left field in the first inning, on Hamels's fifth pitch of the day. Mookie Betts went deep to roughly the same spot leading off the third. Then, in the fifth, Pedroia hit his second dong and Hanley Ramirez lined a solo shot to left. Ramirez capped the scoring by banging a grand slam off the left field foul pole in the ninth.
It was only the second time in Red Sox history that the team hit as many as five home runs on Opening Day (April 12, 1965, at Washington). ... Hanley Ramirez became the third Boston player to hit a grand slam on Opening Day (Jack Clark, 1991; Carlton Fisk, 1973). ... Pedroia's last two-HR game was back on September 13, 2011.
But perhaps the nicest sight of the day was the superlative pitching performance turned in by Buchholz (7-3-0-1-9, 94). He had command of all of his pitches, especially a darting changeup, and worked well with new catcher Ryan Hanigan. With any luck, Buchholz will have silenced (for at least five days, anyway) the media yahoos who have been braying for months about how the Red Sox are doomed because they don't have an ACETM. (Like Hamels (5-5-4-3-6, 100), who was tagged for four dingers.)
Buchholz committed a fielding error in the first, but did not allow a hit until Ryan Howard doubled with two outs in the fourth. Philadelphia's other two hits came in the seventh, when Buchholz might have been tiring a bit. In that later inning, when the score was still only 4-0, Pedroia made an outstanding pick of a hard ground ball to his left, getting a force play at second for the second out, and perhaps saving a run. Buchholz then struck out Freddie Galvis, who helped the Boston righthander out by waving at an outside pitch for an inning-ending strike three.
Ramirez finished the afternoon with two home runs, five RBI, and a walk; he also caught the only fly ball hit his way in left field. Pedroia added a single to his two homers, and made three outstanding plays at second. Betts singled and walked to go with his homer. They accounted for seven of Boston's nine hits.
Shane Victorino walked twice and stole a base. ... Hanigan singled and walked. ... Allen Craig had a pinch-hit singled and scored. ... Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-5, with two groundouts and three strikeouts. ... David Ortiz was 0-for-4.
All that, and the Yankees lost 6-1.
It's been a strange three years (though I suppose the strangeness really began in September 2011):
W L PCT GB 2012 69 93 .426 26 GB 5th of 5 in AL East 2013 97 65 .599 --- 1st of 5 in AL East/Won World Series 2014 71 91 .438 25 GB 5th of 5 in AL East 2015 ?With what promises to be one of the most potent lineups in MLB, we begin the 2015 season in Philadelphia.
Buchholz (who allowed 27 hits and 4 walks in 19 spring innings, while striking out 22) is making his first Opening Day start.
Opening Day Lineup (and spring stats):
Mike Napoli - despite hitting a Bettsian .400/.467/.875/1.342 during the spring - will start the afternoon on the bench. ... The rest of Boston's 25-man roster (Christian Vazquez is out for the season; Joe Kelly and Koji Uehara are on the disabled list):AVG OBP SLG OPS Mookie Betts, CF .429 .467 .750 1.217 Dustin Pedroia, 2B .321 .390 .434 .824 David Ortiz, 1B .222 .300 .333 .633 Hanley Ramirez, LF .263 .283 .404 .687 Pablo Sandoval, 3B .259 .273 .389 .662 Shane Victorino, RF .190 .261 .286 .547 Xander Bogaerts, SS .271 .368 .458 .827 Ryan Hanigan, C .292 .320 .292 .612 Clay Buchholz, P
Jackie Bradley hit very well (.378/.462/.444/.906), but will begin 2015 in Pawtucket. Rusney Castillo, also with the PawSox, batted .310/.310/.621/.931.Bench: Mike Napoli Brock Holt Daniel Nava Allen Craig Sandy Leon SP: Justin Masterson Rick Porcello Wade Miley RP: Edward Mujica Alexi Ogando Junichi Tazawa Anthony Varvaro Craig Breslow Tommy Layne Robbie Ross Jr. Steven Wright