Coming off an awful season, the re-loaded Boston Red Sox kick off 2015 with a bang, beating the Philadelphia Phillies 8-0 behind a couple of home runs from both Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez.
It was a debut for Ramirez with the Red Sox after signing a four-year, $88 million deal as a free agent. He hit one home run off of the poor Cole Hamels in the fifth inning with two out and capped things off with a Grand Slam off of Jake Diekman. Pablo Sandoval, another new and expensive arrival, finished with 0-for-5, getting k’d three times.
David Ortiz was another player who didn’t seem too comfortable with the new rules of pace and stepping out of the box. He finished with 0-for-4, striking out three times. Mike Napoli came on for him in the end and even got to score one run after getting on base through a walk.
Pedroia finished with 3-for-5, getting a home run on his first at bat and then scoring another one in the fifth inning. Mookie Betts also got a home run off of Cole Hamels, who finished the game after five innings, giving up four hits and five runs, walking three and striking out six. Everyone knew this was going to be a rough season for the Phillies. Maybe it’s going to be worse than they imagined.
It’s discouraging. You want to get the first win for your teammates and the organization. We didn’t get the win, and I’m the culprit.
The Red Sox had no problem with their starting pitcher, as Clay Buchholz put in an exquisite performance, striking out nine batters in seven innings, allowing only three hits and walking just one. Buchholz had a rough 2014 with an 8-11 record and his ERA rising to 5.34, but his opening day performance suggests he might be up to his 2013 antics, when he finished with a 12-1 record and had a 1.74 ERA.
Most importantly, after not just missing the playoffs and failing to defend their World Series title but looking miserable for most of the season, the Red Sox seem to have fixed their main issues from last year over the offseason. It might have been done the “easy” way, by signing expensive free agents, but if it gets them back into October baseball and deeper into the playoffs, no one will care.