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Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Red Sox Experience a Perfect 2015 Home Opener vs. Nationals Including a 9-4 Win

Even the most negative Red Sox fan (which are few and far between these days) would have a hard time complaining about anything that transpired on Monday afternoon at Fenway Park. Boston (5-2 overall) pounded Washington (2-5 overall, 1-3 away) 9-4 in the 2015 home opener that featured a moving pregame ceremony with my man Pete Frates and Jane Richards among others. Oh and did I mention that it was 70 degrees and sunny without a cloud in the blue sky? The fact that it was my first ever home opener made it extra special too, if I'm smart I should probably never attend another one since I doubt that this one can be topped.

Once the game started, Red Sox rookie center field and leadoff hitter Mookie Betts was the unquestioned star. He robbed Bryce Harper of a possible two-run homer in the first inning, roped a three-run homer (2nd of the season) over the Monster in the second (for a 4-0 Boston lead) and also stole two bases on one play then added an infield single that opened it up to 7-0. Rick Porcello (1-0) picked up his first career win for Boston with an eight-inning effort: four runs (three earned), on four hits with six strikeouts and a walk.

The Nationals have gotten plenty of hype but so far in the very early going of this season, I couldn't tell you why. For some reason, they played like they didn't want to be there. They dropped two pop-ups that would make average Little Leaguers weep. Jordan Zimmermann (1-1) was charged with eight runs (seven earned) in 2.1 disastrous innings. The only real offense that they could mount was a solo homer by Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth inning and Danny Espinosa's homer to right center.

As most expected, the Red Sox lineup looks dangerous and versatile. David Ortiz was 2 for 4 with solo homer and RBI single and Pablo Sandoval was 2 for 4 with a run. Xander Bogaerts continued to be on fire, going 2 for 3 with two runs, RBI and a walk. Finally, Sandy Leon was 3 for 4 with run and RBI against his former club that traded him to Boston a few weeks ago in Spring Training.

It wouldn't be part of the full Hanley Ramirez experience if we didn't worry about an injury barely a week into the regular season. He left in the sixth inning after fouling a ball right off his foot, ouch! We can only hope that it's not too serious since he's been known to miss weeks for numerous injuries in the past few years.

Tomorrow night's game is a weird start time (6:10, NESN) and it features Justin Masterson (1-0) making his return to Fenway vs. Stephen Strasburg (0-1) who hasn't looked right for years.

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