“And They’re Off … Sox Break Out of the Gate Cleanly …”

Three hundred yards down and another twenty-six miles to go. Folks, that was not a pretty move out of the gate. Two hundred and twenty-six minutes.  326 pitches. The bottom of the eighth lasted longer than the opening credits of Band of Brothers and The Pacific, COMBINED! And when it was over ….. my only thought was ….I need to take a shower to wash all this stink off.  

No, it wasn’t pretty as Beckett was lost out there, armed with a four-seamer and little else. His curve was tumbling, rather than snapping and it looked like he left his two-seamer back at the driving range. The home runs are excusable but FIVE two-out runs? Only three swinging strikes?

All told, it was a pretty lame effort from Beckett but the balance of the ledger, with the exception of Ellsbury, looked alright. Youkilis was dialed in, Pedroia got a mistake that he smacked, Scutaro ground out some nice ABs and Beltre chipped in with a couple nice pieces of situational hitting. I have a feeling I am going to like watching Beltre.

And the pen? Well, Ramirez was typical Ramirez and that will need attention going forward, but SS got the big out on Granderson, Oki got the groundball he needed from Swisher, Bard did his thing and Pap did his. It was really pretty drama-less, particularly after Chamberlin came through with the MetLife insurance run of the game.

So what else stood out?

Well, as many mentioned this morning, Pedroia replicated his opening day from 2009 by going long again. What hasn’t been mentioned is the fact that last year, that was Pedro’s last long ball until May 31st. Here’s hoping that inconvenient truth doesn’t repeat itself. (I can’t for the life of me figure out how this tidbit escaped the folks at YES as this is the kind of factoid that Michael Kay pays top dollar)

Ellsbury had a miserable night but I guess that could be expected. He did very little against the Yanks last year and he came into the game 1-10 with five Ks against CC. Regardless, he had three terrible at bats last night and that misplay on Cano’s cue ball did little to make me forget Jason Bay.

Bottom of the 7th, two outs and the game is tied. Youk is on second and Ortiz is up. Am I the only one who was grumbling that Mike Lowell should be hitting? I know Francona isn’t going to sit Ortiz before he even has a chance to succeed, but I would have given that at bat to Lowell. Curious to see whether Lowell is the DH on Wed against Andy Pettite. In fact, that is one of my big curiosities this year ….. how Francona will handle Lowell, Varitek and to a lesser degree, Wakefield?  This probably deserves its own 700 words.   

Scott Schoeneweis had a nice night on a night that was treating Duke grads well. SS whiffed Granderson in a big spot, which I guess isn’t all that surprising since Granderson is allergic to southpaws. Aside from SS, Duke grads JJ Redick and Josh McRoberts had nice nights on the court, particularly McRoberts who poured in 8 of 9 in Indy’s laugher over Houston. Let’s hope Duke burned some karma last night and the effects will be felt tonight against Butler.

I saw some comments on various threads where Yankee fans were conflating the difficulty of a straight steal of home with a double steal where home is taken. Does this really need to be explained?

Bad weekend for Parks ……. Park Si Jung and Manchester United went down to rival Chelsea on Saturday and Chan Ho Park got smacked around by the Sox last night. By the way, why is Chan Ho Park in the major leagues? This year will mark the ninth anniversary of the last time Park was good. Seems like the Yanks got a little carried away with the ten outs Park registered against them in the Series. That is an “Al Davis”event  if ever I saw one.

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