*Picture from the Boston Globe*
Now THAT'S what you call Opening Day: lights out pitching from your starter, thunder from the bats, and a near "incident" in the 8th inning with the score at the time 14-1.
First: Josh Beckett. If you read here, you'll know I've been a BIG fan of his since 2003 and was beyond thrilled when the team traded for him and signed him to an extension. All of a sudden at $10 million per year, he seems like a bargain. His line read as follows: 7IP, 2H, 1R, 1ER, 0BB, and 8K's.
That is about as dominating as you can be without throwing a no no. His fastball was on, changeup was working, and the breaking stuff looked as good as anytime since he's been in Boston. Yeah, he'll have his nights where he'll get knocked around some. But today should prove to the naysayers that when he's on, he's as good as they come.
Hopefully, all the folks who were wringing their hands over the lack of hitting the first week of the season will now all take a collective breath: this team is gonna score runs. In bunches. Today showed that from top to bottom, they can rake. Bunch of doubles, walks, and JD hit his first HR at Fenway. The fact that Jeff Weaver was the starting pitcher didn't hurt, but he was only in for the first 7 runs: they scored 7 more after he left.
Finally, leading off the 8th, Brendan Donnelly strikes out Jose Guillen. Guillen glares, Donnelly "checks himself", and all of a sudden the benches empty and the two of them have to be restrained from whacking each other. Apparently, this goes back to when they both played for the Angels, and Guillen felt like his pitchers weren't protecting the hitters, in particular him. Then, in 2005 when Guillen was playing for the Nationals, Donnelly was suspended for 8 games for having pine tar in his glove. The fact it was discovered while he was pitching against Guillen's Nationals at the time, I guess, was not lost on Donnelly. Very next batter, Donnelly plunks Kenji Johjima on the leg, promptly earning himself an ejection.
I love baseball: in no other sport are grudges held longer, with receipts sometimes taking years to deliver. Should be interesting the next 2 games and when they meet later in Anehiem.
Tomorrow night: the Fenway debut of Daisuke Matsuzaka. If you can be near a TV at 7:00 EST, you need to check this out: Matsuzaka vs. Felix Hernandez, a 21 year old flamethrower who struck out 12 A's in his debut.
Is it wrong to be this jacked up on April the 10th?