Monday, April 5, 2010

Some thoughts from opening night

So much for that weak offense. As Joe Morgan and John Miller repeatedly pointed out, the new guys all hit very well, going a combined five for nine with two runs and three RBI. I was a bit surprised to hear Miller refer to Cameron as a guy who doesn't walk much, though. While a .340 career OBP isn't anything special, when it comes with a .250 career average you have to walk a lot.

Neither Beckett nor Sabathia looked particularly sharp. Both had lots of long at bats. Beckett seemed to generate very few swings and misses, while Sabathia had trouble finding the plate, only throwing 58 strikes in 104 total pitches. Both struggled to throw first pitch strikes as well (9/23 for Sabathia, 13/24 for Beckett).

Overall it was a pretty sloppy game. Defensively Youkilis' triple may well have been a long single if Swisher hadn't misjudged the ball and I still don't really know where Gardner was trying to throw the ball when he airmailed it. The Red Sox botched the double steal in the fourth, and Damaso Marte was an absolute disaster between the balls in the dirt, the passed ball, and the eventual walk to Ortiz. Okajima wasn't that much better, but managed to get out of a sticky situation with a nice double play. Although he ended up winning the game, he also let Ramon Ramirez' two inherited runners score. This is something that has come up in the past, and may be one of the reasons the Red Sox kept lefty Schoeneweis on the roster.

Although you can't get too excited about a LOOGY (Lefty One Out Guy) with middling career numbers, it is hard not to root for Schoeneweis, considering the personal tragedy he went through last year

The new Sox D didn't make any spectacular plays, although Cano's broken bat liner that Ellsbury tracked down with easy might have dropped in front of Manny or Bay. That would have made the 9th a heck of a lot more nerve-wracking.

Speaking of the ninth, it was good to see Papelbon go to the splitter to finish the game. He had gotten away from using the pitch last year, but was working on it a lot during spring training this year.

One down, eighteen to go. I'm not sure how I feel about the imbalanced schedule these days. It really does make it brutally hard for the O's, Jays, and Rays to compete when they're playing one quarter of their games against the Red Sox and the Yankees and their combined $378 million payroll. Plus, it seems to dilute the meaning of each Yankees/Red Sox regular season game.

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