Opening Day: Lester Solid, Bradley Jr. Walks

Opening Day

For the first time in three years the Red Sox have won on opening day.

It all started with ace Jon Lester who pitched solid for five innings. He looked strong in the first three innings, keeping the ball down in the zone and locating his fastball.  He struggled in the fourth, giving up two runs, when his mechanics got away from him.  He left the ball up and catcher Francisco Cervelli, or the “Pest” as Jerry Remy calls him, jumped on a high fastball lining it to right for a two run single.  Lester limited the damage though escaping the inning after Brett Gardner lined out to right.

I was a little disappointed in Lester’s performance after his lights-out spring.  I know spring numbers are meaningless, but he was consistently locating his fastball–something he did not do last season.  He had it early on, but lost it as the game wore on and got lucky with a few belt-high fastballs that found outfielder’s gloves and not fan’s gloves.

The Sox didn’t need Lester to be perfect though as they sprayed thirteen hits around and drew eight walks, scoring eight runs in the process.  The top of the Sox order was particularly productive combining for seven hits and six RBI.  Jose Iglesias also chipped in with three hits and a RBI from the nine hole.  The whole lineup was patient too and chased Yankee starter Sabathia from the game by the fifth inning.  Phenom Jackie Bradley Jr. saw twenty six pitches alone.  Bradley Jr. also made a nice running catch in the third to save a run. While JBJ didn’t record a hit in his MLB debut he did draw three walks.  He showed great calm at the plate looking like a seasoned vet in his first game.  It’s typical to see young players hack away and look foolish in their first game, but Bradley made the Red Sox brass look smart in deciding to start him.

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