The Sox just won their opener against the Tampa Bay Rays by a score of 5-3. Great start to the season, here are my quick observations from the game...
1st Star - Josh Beckett - Josh did all he could to erase any doubt that he is the ace of this team. His struggles last year combined with Lester's domination towards the end of the season left some questioning whether Beckett was still the number 1 guy in Boston. How did he respond today? How about 7 IP, just 2 hits, 1 run and 10 strikeouts! Best player of the game by far.
2nd Star - Jason Varitek - After a dismal season last year (batting just .220!) and a bungled attempt at free agency in the off-season, Jason has a lot to prove to the team, Sox fans, and himself. He got off to a great start with solid defensive play, and a solo home run. His 1-4 on the day is deceiving as he smashed a line drive in his first at bat directly to the left fielder.
3rd Star - Jonathan Papelbon - Papelbon was his usual self, taking care of each of the 3 batters he faced in the 9th for his first save of the season, and hitting mid-90s on the radar gun.
The Ugly - Hideki Okajima - Okajima came in to start the 8th only to hit and then walk the first two batters he faced. They would both eventually score to make the game 5-3 and give the Rays some life. Honorable mention to Jacoby Ellsbury who was the only player out of the starting 9 not to get a hit, and looked lost during his 0-4 performance at the plate.
Looking forward to game 2 tomorrow!
no. 692 - rookie stars a.l. pitchers - *Who is the man:* Each of these pitchers made their major league debut in 1970. Hal Hayden appeared in four games in relief with the Twins; Rogelio Moret...