Well, the Sox pulled out a win though overall the game was not too impressive. Temps were in the 50’s and clear so they could not have asked much more from the weather for opening day in Boston. Benintendi was impressive as his one hit was a three run shot that made the difference in the game. Porcello was good enough to get the win, but not over powering. It turns out the Sox one big inning was bigger than the Pirates one big inning.
The Sox scored 5 runs in the bottom of the 5th all with two outs Bradley started it out with a booming triple and then came in to score the first run of the game off the Sandoval single. Leon then took advantage of the shift to place a bunt single on the left side of the infield and all that was enough to rattle Cole who had pitched a one hit shutout to that point. Three more consecutive hits by Pedroia, Benintendi ( a 3 run homer) and Betts and the Sox had a 5-0 lead.
The only other action came in the 7th when the Pirates managed 3 runs all charged to Porcello, which fell short of catching the Sox. The bullpen then held the score where it was and gave the home team a win for opening day. Kimbrel got his first save in the top of the 9th in his usual fashion. Not too impressive since the tying run was on base, but it did get the job done.
It was really a team effort today, as everybody in the starting lineup had at least one hit with the exception of Moreland. Leon and Bogaerts managed two apiece but got no RBI’s. This may be the way the offense goes all season with most everyone contributing and wins by the team as a whole with no one actually carrying the team as Papi often seemed to do in the past. No standouts today, but a good team win. We can probably expect more of the same from the 2017 Red Sox.
We get to see Sale make his first start next, on Wednesday and it should be a good game as well. The first two starters are pretty solid to start the season and when we get Price back we will have three solid starters that should win a lot of games between them. Right now, if we can win 3 out of each 5 starts we will be doing pretty well. I think it is going to be a pretty good season, all in all.
It was great to see the rookie, Benintendi get the big blast that made the difference in this one. I think he is going to be good contributor to the team all season and may be in the running for Rookie of the Year before it is all over. We should enjoy watching him develop over the course of the season.
All in all, it was a good start for the team that we hope will win many more in what will probably be similar fashion. Don’t expect as many major blow outs as we saw last season, but with good overall pitching, we should win more games by smaller margins. All systems are go to have a great season, if we can just get our pitching healthy (we have at least 3 on the DL) by the end of the month or so. So let’s just keep plowing ahead and all should be good. Go Sox!