The Red Sox showcase surprisingly effective youthful talent and a diverse, powerful range of bullpen arms in shocking 8-2 opening day win in New York
|Jon Lester kept the Yankees swinging and missing all day long|
Coming into the 2013 MLB season most seasoned Boston Red Sox fans were basically hoping for a tiny glimmer of hope. After the abject disasters of '11 and '12, Sox fans were basically hoping that the team would be somewhat competitive and would show some signs of life to cling on to going forward.
The message appeared to be, 'Guys, just don't embarrass yourselves.'
Well, if yesterday's outing in the Bronx is anything to go by, this Red Sox team might exceed all expectations, even the loftier ones. The Sox young, diverse team didn't just beat the Yankees, they crushed them. The 8-2 scoreline was actually flattering to the Yankees.
The hosts for the afternoon looked old, tired and flat. The Yankees highly paid veteran 30-something club watched from the bench (Jeter, A-Rod, Granderson and Texiera, all injured) as Jon Lester and the Red Sox simply cut through Yankee stadium like a knife through butter.
The two starters for the day embodied the entire story. Spring outings for Jon Lester suggested he might be reacting well to the appointment of John Farrell as Red Sox skipper. His velocity is up, his mechanics no longer look an issue and his sparkling competitive edge of old seems to be back. Meanwhile, CC Sabathia looked old, tired and anything but an opening day ace. While Lester regularly hit 94/95 mph (even as high as 97), Sabathia struggled to maintain 89, hovering around the 88/87 mark.
Whatever about Lester's dominance, the story of the day was no doubt the emergence of Jackie Bradley Jnr, Boston's dynamic, exciting 22 year old rookie outfielder. The road to success in the majors is littered with the decaying corpses of over hyped young players that didn't make it, however Bradley appears to have all the tools, the demeanour and perhaps most importantly the support to cut it at this level.
He was a constant thorn in the Yankee's sides, and proved a wild hit in his first Major League start.
The Boston bullpen was another glossy bonus on opening day. Obviously there is a long way to go, but the Red Sox showcased a very diverse selection of arms yesterday afternoon, with an exclamation mark of power behind the gun-slinging convoy of talented bullpen crew. After Lester held the Yankees down, the bullpen kept their collective foot on the Yanks throat. A combination of Uehara, Miller, Bailey, Tazawa and finally Hanrahan kept the Bronx Bombers to just the one hit.
Hanrahan showed a tantalising glimpse of what might be a solidifying of the closer position in Boston for the first time since Papelbon took his circus to Philly.
All in all, a very gratifying day for Boston fans. Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of all is that the bar for the 2013 season was set so low that even a small percentage of yesterday's outing carrying over the rest of the season would mean a year that could probably be deemed a success.
|The Red Sox celebrate winning game one against the Yankees|