Talk about the pen blowing the game. They were handed a 4-0 lead and could not hold it. First Kelley came in and walked three and gave up a hit while getting only one out. No problem, it’s still 4-1, we’ll just turn to Smith! He can get the job done, right? Wrong; he came in and walked a run in for openers (the bases were loaded) and then gave up a base clearing triple that gave the Rays the lead. To add insult to injury, he then gave up another base hit to give the Rays a two run lead. These are the guys we are supposed to depend on to come out of the bullpen and hold leads this year? Let’s hope that their first game of 2018 is no indication of how they are going to perform all year. Not just one of them stunk, but both of the “big arms coming out of the pen” were horrendous. The final was a terrible loss, 6-4.
It was almost as if the game was lost on purpose to give the Rays a good opening day since they are struggling to get fans out to the ball park during the rest of the season. Was this game thrown to try to boost their sales. I hope not and I doubt it, but can’t help but wonder a bit. How else can one explain what happened. Let’s hope it wasn’t because we have two pitchers in the bullpen who are supposed to be our best, but won’t be able to get the job done at all. What are the chances of them both being off at the same time. We can only hope it doesn’t last.
Other than the poor bullpen performance the rest of the game seemed hopeful. Up until the bottom of the 8th the game was well in hand and the offense was adequate. The offense for the most part is still trying to get going, most notably Bradley, Jr who can’t hit to save his life right now. The rest look pretty good and can only get better as the season winds up. Jackie can only improve as well.
Sale had a pretty good outing , though I don’t think he was at the top of his game either. He struck out 9, but walked 3 and only threw 92 pitches. Is Cora going to limit his pitches like that all year? Maybe he just wants to move slowly forward and the game was well in hand when he took Sale out. He thought he could rely on his bullpen, obviously, but yesterday that wasn’t the case. He gave them the chance to blow it by taking Sale out early and boy did they.
Well, we can only move forward from here. Kelley and Smith have to do better. Maybe they both had a bad case of opening day jitters and they will settle down as we move on. A poor beginning to what we hope will be a good season. The Sox need to win a lot of games at the outset, as they supposedly play lesser opponents for the first 9. We can only hope things look up from here. It’s too bad for Cora, too, that his first official game as manager had to go so wrong. Things can only get better from here, right? Let’s hope so. Anyway, Go Sox!