1. The Debut of Jackie Bradley Jr. If you’ve been following this blog, chances are you’ve heard about this young prospect the Sox have who goes by JBJ. Well he impressed yesterday by scoring two runs, getting on base three times, and driving in a run. In left field, he tracked down a Cano fly ball with the prowess of a veteran, not a player who’s been playing the position for a week. However, perhaps his best play of the game was beating out a throw to second base on an infield single. It extended the second inning, which led to three more runs for the Sox.
2. The Plate Discipline at the Back of the Lineup. The top of the order is supposed to whack the ball, get homeruns, and drive in runs. Those are the heavy hitters. An ideal lineup has plenty of these guys, but at the bottom of the order are guys that get pitchers tired by making them throw a lot of pitches. The five through eight hitters in the lineup worked a combined total of 8 walks. Carl Crawford had 3 walks all of last year. The plate discipline Monday helped knock Sabathia out by the sixth.
3. The Top of the Order is in Rare Form. The most impressive member of the local nine on Monday was definitely Shane Victorino. He drove in 3 RBI’s on 2 hits, while his teammates adjacent in the batting order, Ellsbury and Pedroia, combined for 5 more hits and 3 RBI’s.
4. A Good Start. Jon Lester struck out 7 in the five innings. This was the perfect opening day start. He got the win, pitched out of some adversity, and kept his count under 100 pitches. It also brings me great pleasure to share this fact; the Yankees’ Joba Chamberlain now has an ERA of 40.50.
5. The Bullpen had a nice day. The Sox used five relievers to close four innings on Monday. In total, they only allowed one hit, however Andrew Miller got into some trouble in the seventh after walking two. However he came back with two straight strikeouts, only to have the third out recorded by way of the K as well, courtesy of Andrew Bailey.
6. What to do with Drew? Stephen Drew would have been the starting Shortstop yesterday had it not been for the concussion he suffered in Spring Training. His replacement Jose Iglesias notched three hits, an RBI, and scored a run. We already know Iglesias is better than Drew in the field, if he keeps swinging the bat like this, then Stephen won’t be the first “Drew” in New England to lose his starting job while injured (looking at you Bledsoe).