After a relatively mild Spring Training session that saw the improvement of many young players including rookie starter Jackie Bradley Jr., the Red Sox took to the field in New York for their first 2013 regular season game. The aforementioned Jackie Bradley Jr. made his MLB debut and along with a few walks collected his first big league RBI. The Red Sox dethroned the proud Yankees who rarely lose any season-opener at home. Jon Lester picked up the Win after surrendering only a few runs in 5 innings of work. Joel Hanrahan held the Yankees down to secure the victory during his own Red Sox debut. His outing was particularly impressive as he hit 99, then 97+ with his fastball as well as unleashing a nasty, unhittable slider. Needless to say the Yankees were toast as his pitches went by their batters in the bottom of the ninth.
Before an emptied out Yankee stadium, Will Middlebrooks made an excellent running catch to squeeze the game closed after the last batter popped out in foul territory! Final Score 8-2 Red Sox!!!!The Red Sox clubhouse was ecstatic and all smiles as many players embraced each other knowing that this season was already off to a better start after all the tumutuous events of last year! That is the beauty of baseball…. however lousy things get…. there is always that hope of the Next Spring and the chance to make up for past failures. The Beantown team did just that and Red Sox Nation was buzzing with delight!!!
The Red Sox enjoyed a day off to savor their good start before playing again in the Bronx Wednesday night. This time important role-player Pitcher Clay Buchholz took to the mound. Buchholz would emerge with the victory after a late-inning scare where a homerun was given up and it looked like last season where the bullpen would fail us again. However, once again Hanrahan came to the rescue, putting on the clampdown and the last batter popped out to newly-acquired RF Shane Victorino! Final score 7-4 Red Sox!!!!Once again, rookie Jackie Bradley was impressive not only with his wonderful defense in CF but also in getting his first major-league hit. During another rousing clubhouse celebration Jackie Bradley JR. was given the ball commemorating his first official hit!
On Thursday night, the Red Sox looked to continue their dominance over the Yankees and did so behind the pitching of Ryan Dempster. Although Dempster did OK in his Red Sox debut…. the team did not produce enough run support and the Sox fell to the Yankees 2-4. This lack of run support should be remedied quickly as in the next few weeks David Ortiz will return to the team from injury and Stephen Drew(J.D.’s brother) looks to make his infield starts for the Sox! Napoli(1B),Pedroia(2B) and Ellsbury(OF)should settle into their consistent hitting stats soon. In the meantime, the pitching looks to be much improved as was expected under John Farrell’s experience and tutelage in this particular area! In short, the Red Sox are much improved…. they seem to have filled the defensive gaps that made last year such a disastrous ordeal and will look to steadily grow as the season progresses!
The Red Sox have their own Home Opener coming up soon as many steady fans will welcome their heroes home for another spectacular season at Fenway Park!!!! This weekend they march up to Toronto having taken 2 out of 3 from the perrennial AL East favorite New York Yankees on their own turf! An excellent start to a much improved season so far! Go Sox GO!