Merry Christmas everybody and Happy Opening Day! The Boston Red Sox took the field this afternoon and boy was it exciting. After watching 9 innings of baseball pornography, I have a few takeaways.
- Rob Gronkowski looks healthy and ready to make a run at a second consecutive Super Bowl.
- Tom Brady is still perfect.
- Boston is easily the best city in the world.
Alright, all jokes aside, let’s talk about the game this afternoon…
Rick Porcello took the bump and looked like the Porcello of last season. This was a great sign to me. Throughout Spring Training, Porcello struggled with his command and finishing off hitters. This was no problem for Pretty Ricky today. Porcello had command of all of his pitches and worked fast through the Pittsburg Pirates lineup. Porcello ended up going 6.1 innings giving up 3 earned runs and striking out 5, ultimately giving it off to the bullpen in the 7th inning.
First out of the pen was Matt Barnes. Barnes struggled this afternoon. The tall, hard-throwing, righty was able to record two outs but allowed two runners to score. Once Barnes left the game, it was smooth sailing from then on.
After Barnes, the Red Sox used Robby Scott and Heath Hembree to record 3 outs in the 8th inning and Craig Kimbrel took the hill in the 9th, recording his first save of the year.
Another bright spot this afternoon was the Red Sox lineup. The Sox put up a 5 spot in the 5th inning, which proved to be enough. Eight of the nine hitters recorded a hit, picking up where they left off last year.
Andrew Benintendi started the 2017 season off with a bang, by launching his first homerun of the campaign into the Pirates Bullpen. The rookie looked like a seasoned vet as he led the sox to their first victory of the year.
Though there were many good things to take away from this game, there were several things to be concerned about. One of which is the Red Sox newest addition, Mitch Moreland. Moreland looked like a fish out of water in the batter’s box. The big lefty went 0-4 with two strikeouts. The Red Sox signed Moreland this offseason to help move on from the retirement of David Ortiz, but what I saw from him was not encouraging. One thing that Moreland does bring to the table is an outstanding glove, but even that was nowhere to be seen. Yes, I know the season is early but if this trend continues, don’t be surprised if you see Sam Travis sooner rather than later.
Overall, it was a fantastic start to the 2017 season. Make sure to tune in on Wednesday for Chris Sale’s debut as the Red Sox look to keep things rolling.