After a horrid season last year, it felt good to get that sour taste out of my mouth by seeing the potential we have in this team. Here are my takeaways from the first game of 2015, and boy, was it a good one.
The gold stars go to….
1. Dustin Pedroia – HUGE day. Not one, but two homers. If you don’t remember, it took Pedroia over 100 at bats last season to hit his first. Now he’s on pace to hit 324. Will he reach that? No. But he’ll tell us that he will. Pedey finally looks healthy and I can assure you he’s going to have a big year. Wouldn’t expect anything less from the heart of the Red Sox.
2. Clay Buchholz – Good God. Who saw that coming? He gave up only 3 hits and not a single run. Oh, and he had NINE (count ’em) strikeouts. He looked like 2013 Clay, and that’s the Clay that can truly be an ace. Can he keep it up? We’ll see. But today was certainly positive.
3. Hanley Ramirez – like Pedroia, Hanley went deep twice. One of those was a grand slam. He had 5 RBI today and looked really locked in at the plate. When Hanley is healthy, watch out – he’s truly one of the best hitters in baseball.
4. MOOKIE Betts – he’s always in the highlight reels. He went 2-4 today. Remember those people suggesting we should trade him for Cole Hamels? Oh, the irony. Betts smashed a solo homerun off that very same Cole Hamels today. We have our lead off man for years to come.
1. David Ortiz – 0-4 with three strikeouts. Papi seemed a little too impatient at the ate today and it showed. He had a rather uneventful spring, but we all know what he can and will do. But hey, he played first base pretty decently. Ortiz will be fine.
2. Pablo Sandoval – the Panda’s stat line was similar to Papi’s: 0-5 with three strikeouts. New team, new league, but Pablo will be fine. He made some plays at third and we can expect his bat to be a force sooner rather than later.
Overall team grade: A+
The homeruns were great, but we can’t rely on those every single game. We’re gonna need to find ways to score when we aren’t smashing it out of the park. However, if there’s anything we can count on this season, it will be the offense. It’ll be exciting to watch. Clay was lights out. And Taz and Layne looked solid in their short amounts of work. In other news, the Red Sox have announced a 4-year extension with Rick Porcello. Personally, I think it’s a good move. Rick obviously wants to be here and he’s going to do very well. He’s still really young and he’s only trending upward. Can he be an ace? I believe he can. We will certainly see. Thank God 2014 is behind us because we have big things ahead this year. As always, thanks for reading!