A Series Wrap Up
Red Sox @ Rangers
Good bye Texas, you will not be missed. Other than the nice warm weather that the Red Sox endured during their season opening series in Texas this weekend, that is about all that was enjoyable for Terry Francona’s squad. An atrocious start to the year, the Red Sox were swept at the hands of the Rangers to open the season 0-3, their worst start in 15 years.
Aside from the first few innings of the opener on Friday night, the Red Sox didn’t really give themselves an opportunity to win any of the three games. The starting pitching, to be polite, was gross. All three starters took the loss and have an ERA that has ballooned beyond normalcy. Jon Lester’s performance was bad as his early season struggles appear to be threatening him again this year. Saturday night, John Lackey was awful and really didn’t show signs of a heartbeat, let alone control of his fastball. On Sunday afternoon Clay Buchholz was decent at best, despite giving up 4 solo home runs on a day when the offense struggled against a dominant lefty in Matt Harrison. And the bullpen? Bobby Jenks, Matt Albers, Jonathon Papelbon and Dennys Reyes were good, while Tim Wakefield, Dan Wheeler, and Daniel Bard, well they stunk.
If there was one thing that was evident this weekend, it is that the Texas Rangers are good, very good. Their entire line up can hit and hit for power. Right from the leadoff man to the number 9 batter, this line up went yard 11 times over the course of the three games. Perhaps the most painful long ball, was watching former Red Sox third baseman Adrian Beltre, hit a grand slam on Saturday to blow the game wide open.
The ‘Eh List:
There were a few Red Sox who deserve an A grade for this weekend’s performance, although not very many. David Ortiz has, at least for now silenced some of the critics who pondered whether or not he would find his swing early this season, or continue to struggle in April as he has the last two years. A nice series for Big Papi to start the year, as he hit two home runs, while collecting 4 RBI’s. Adrian Gonzalez was able to drive in 3 RBI’s over 5 hits this weekend and Jacoby Ellsbury carried his torrid pace from spring training right into the regular season, going 3 for 12, including 1 home run, 2 runs batted in and a stolen base.
The Last Word:
It’s really quite simple; the Red Sox were just not good enough this weekend. The pitching didn’t even come close to resembling the top 3 in the rotation, and they couldn’t capitalize when they had something going during their half of the inning at the plate, especially on Sunday. Hats off to the Rangers, they played a brilliant series and they took advantage when the Sox pitchers missed with a pitch. The Red Sox helped them out by playing well below the level that has become expected of this team. Time to put this weekend behind them, shake off the frustrations and look ahead and try and get that first ‘W’ of the season.
Following the opening weekend, the Red Sox have a day off on Monday, before visiting Cleveland to start a three game series against the Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday. For more on this series, look for my post “A Series Snapshot”.
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