Finally we reached Opening Day, something we've all been looking forward to for a long time, particularly with the extended spring training and the debacle that is the WBC. Parties, or as the kids call them "TweetUps" were held throughout Red Sox nation to celebrate the fact that we could once again hear Don and Jerry call a game. Here in Austin we had a decent turn out for our first meeting of the ATX Red Sox Nation, along with our new friend Nick on the bagpipes, but the real story was Josh Beckett, king of the hill.
In HD you can now practically see the ice water running through the man's veins. On a day where the crowd and the players are so pumped up to get started Beckett went out onto the green fields of Fenway and mowed them down. The final line was 7 innings pitched, 93 pitches, 2 hits, 1 earned run and TEN STRIKEOUTS! Ten strikeouts on opening day, on a chilly afternoon. I failed to find any stat on average strikeouts for an Opening Day pitcher, but I'm going to guess this day was on the upper end. You could see the movement on his pitches throughout the game and when he wanted to Beckett seemed to be reeling back for that extra bit of speed. One of the most annoying statements by sports writers is "mid-season form", but you have to admit as you watched Beckett hurl yesterday it seemed like June not April.
The lineup did it's part with Pedroia the Destroia (NOT pictured to your right) showing why he is the MVP and folks manufacturing runs when needed. This is not a lineup that is going to bash 10 runs a game, but it they remain healthy and smart on the basebaths (I'm looking at you Sir Youkillis) they will always be throwing down 4-6 runs a game. Ultimately, like it always does in baseball, it will come down to the pitching. And if we see the likes of Mr. Beckett each fifth day we will be looking good.
Now, let's get to Game 2 and see what Jon Lester has in store for us.