Red Sox win Opening Day
April 6, 2015
This season may not have gone the way we expected it to, but it certainly got off to a promising start with a shutout victory in Philadelphia.
Clay Buchholz pitched a gem, holding the Phillies to a mere three hits over seven scoreless innings, while striking out 9. Concerns over the rotation’s lack of a legitimate ace would eventually prove to be warranted, but Buchholz certainly proved himself worthy of that label in his first start. Even more impressive was the fact that he out-dueled Phillies ace Cole Hamels, who was rumored to be a trade target of the Red Sox at the time.
As great as Buchholz was in that opening start, it was the offense that ignited excitement from Red Sox fans. The team combined for five home runs that day, including two each for Dustin Pedroia and Hanley Ramirez. The second time that Ramirez went deep came in the 9th inning with the bases loaded on a ball he crushed despite breaking his bat. It was the second Opening Day grand slam of Ramirez’s career and only the third time it has been done by a player in a Red Sox uniform.
Ramirez’s outstanding debut made him seem worthy of every cent of the 4-year, $88 million deal the Red Sox handed him last winter. He carried that momentum through the rest of April, finishing the month with 10 home runs. Unfortunately he would hit only 9 more the rest of the season, as his production spiraled down the drain as he dealt with various injuries. Combine that with the disastrous results of experimenting with him in left field and Ramirez quickly turned from hero to bust.
Now stuck with Ramirez’s bloated contract, the Red Sox are forced to try him at first base as he attempts to redeem himself in 2016. As poorly as his season ended, we forget how great it started.
Next: Red Sox defeat Yankees in 19 inning marathon