April 2, 2021

Opening Day: Orioles 3, Red Sox 0

The Red Sox will open their 121st season against the Orioles this afternoon at Fenway Park (after Thursday's postponement). First pitch is scheduled for 2:10 ET.

For the first time since September 29, 2019 (a walk-off win against Baltimore), fans will be in attendance for a game at Fenway. As per Massachusetts regulations, rough 4,500 fans (12% capacity) will be allowed to attend.

Xander Bogaerts:

We made a lot of new changes and have a lot of new faces. AC came back as a manager. The pitching has been getting better and we have a lot of big arms in the bullpen. And, obviously, we traded for some guys with experience and signed some guys also. So this year we're looking much better than we did last year -- that's for sure.


Kiké Hernández, 2B
Alex Verdugo, CF
J.D. Martinez, DH
Xander Bogaerts, SS
Rafael Devers, 3B
Hunter Renfroe, RF
Marwin Gonzalez, LF
Christian Vázquez, C
Bobby Dalbec, 1B

Nathan Eovaldi will be the starting pitcher.

Bogaerts and Rafael Devers will be on the left side of the Red Sox infield for the fourth straight Opening Day. The last time Boston had a left-side duo start four consecutive openers was 1914-17 (third baseman Larry Gardner and shortstop Everett Scott).

The Red Sox are 59-60-1 all-time on Opening Day (excluding G2 of doubleheaders in 1903, 1948, and 1982). The Red Sox are 22-18 on Opening Day at Fenway Park and have won their last four Opening Day games at home (2009, 2010, 2017, 2020).

NESN has added four analysts to its lineup: Mo Vaughn, Kevin Youkilis, Ellis Burks, and Jonathan Papelbon. Unfortunately, the network still thinks it's a good idea to give Dave O'Brien a paycheque for misinforming viewers about basic baseball history (and never acknowledging his errors), so my non-mute viewing time will be severely limited.

Opening Day Roster

Catchers: Christian Vázquez, Kevin Plawecki

Infielders: Bobby Dalbec, Kiké Hernández, Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, Marwin Gonzalez, Christian Arroyo

Outfielders: Franchy Cordero, Alex Verdugo, Hunter Renfroe

Designated Hitter: J.D. Martinez

Starters: Nathan Eovaldi, Garrett Richards, Martín Pérez, Nick Pivetta, Tanner Houck

Relievers: Matt Barnes, Adam Ottavino, Hirokazu Sawamura, Darwinzon Hernandez, Josh Taylor, Matt Andriese, Garrett Whitlock, Austin Brice, Phillips Valdez

Barnes has been cleared to pitch, after testing positive for COVID-19.

It was crazy to me when I found out on Saturday morning . . . I went to the grocery store for 30 minutes and that was it. Other than that, it was the field and my house. And I felt completely fine. . . . Being the union rep, I was one of the people who helped build these protocols, if you will, or helped sign off on these protocols for everybody, so I know them very well. . . . [E]ven before we had COVID, in 2018 or 2019, I didn't go anywhere in Spring Training anyways, let alone when we have a global pandemic.

Vázquez was hit in the left eye by a thrown ball during a pitchers fielding drill last Thursday.

The pitcher was throwing the ball to home and I was watching first, I was talking about something at first base. Sawamura threw the ball and hit me. I saw the ball right here in my face and it knocked me down to the floor. [The ball shattered Vázquez's sunglasses] Those sunglasses saved my eye. If I don't have the sunglasses, it's a different story. All hits in the face, you're worried. I was worried about my eye. When I got hit, I opened the eye, I was seeing, so that's a good sign. That's the only concern I had. . . . My eye is good. I can see perfect. . . . They're going to take off the stitches before the game on Thursday and put in butterfly stitches.

From Chad Jennings's (The Athletic) first impressions before Opening Day:

Most Opening Day starts by any Red Sox position player is — and perhaps always will be — Carl Yastrzemski with 22. He started 15 Opening Day games in left field, four at first base, two as the designated hitter and one (1977) in right field.

1 comment:

PK said...

Who is Kike Hernandez, and why does he hate wins!?