Two games into the the Sox's 2009 season and we begin to see some ups and downs. The fact remains that we have a long season ahead of us and only time could tell what is to come. Health, although alright at the moment is still a question is everyone's mind when it comes to Lowell, Drew and Beckett – but again, the season is still young. We still have time to rise to the top or fall to the bottom. And with a couple strong games out of the Toronto Blue Jays, the division might be a little tighter come year's end.
After rain postponed the home opener on Monday, Josh Beckett made the start against the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday night. He pitched quite a fantastic win taking into account the fact that it was the first game of the season. The butterflies must have been turning a bit. Beckett finished the game with a 1.29 ERA, allowing 1 ER on 2 hits. He struck out 10 and walked 3 in 7 solid innings. He seems healthy and looks amazing on the mound. Two more Sox are also quickly back in the saddle. The reigning AL MVP Dustin Pedroia went yard at his first at bat and the newly resigned captain Jason Varitek had a homerun in the 6th. Otherwise, I was proud of my Sox. Papelbon picked up right where he left off and closed the game with a save and 2 Ks, while the bullpen didn't look horrible. Masterson setup Papelbon allowing only one hit and Okajima's 54.00 ERA isn't as bad at it looks.
The next day the Sox took the field behind Lester and the results were almost the complete opposite. Lester had 5 strikeouts in a losing cause, allowing 5 ER over 5 innings. The bullpen? Again, not too bad. Delcarmen and Ramirez both pitched hitless/scoreless innings, while Saito and Lopez each pitched an inning, both allowing a run.
Like I mentioned, some ups and some downs. You can't win them all and with only 2 games in the bag it's impossible to make conclusions. I am, however, a rather superstitious man. So far the Sox are 1-0 with Drew in right field and winless since Rocco Baldelli started in his spot. It's just a little something to chew on. It might be interesting to see what the comparable records are with Drew and Baldelli in/out of the lineup. I wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere is keeping that stat.
Tomorrow we get to take a look at number 3 – Dice-K. Can he improve on his 18 win season? Yes. And he'll start by pitching 7 shutout inning in tomorrow rubber match. Wishful thinking, I know. Let's judge the pitching rotation once we get a whole run through. Otherwise, I'll hit you up soon with a look at Lowell's aging hip and the progress of my beloved Sox.
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Written by Jarred Coxford