In May, Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester will look back on the previous month and yell “April Fool’s!” or at least Sox fans hope.
Lester had another rough outing on the mound Monday as the Twins cruised to a 5-2 victory in their opening game at Target Field. Lester was wild again, throwing 48 of his 107 pitches for balls. When he wasn’t wild he was hittable, allowing nine hits and four runs over five innings.
History shows that Lester likes to turn April Fool’s Day into an entire month. He has started 14 games in April throughout his career and is 2-5 with a 5.08 ERA. Fantasy owners beware of selling this guy cheap. While he might cost you a few points in the beginning, Lester tends to breakout in the months following. The past two years he has went 28-10 in the months following April.
The Sox two runs came from a deep double (which was almost caught) to left field, scoring Kevin Youkilis from second. The other was a sacrifice fly by Dustin Pedroia. Overall, the atmosphere of the new outdoor stadium propelled the Twins to a big victory over a struggling pitcher.
Don’t be the fool, Lester will find his control and push 15 wins wins 200 strikeouts once again.
After losing their first three-game series to the New York Yankees, things got even worse for the Red Sox (1-2) on Friday night. They got off to an early 3-0 lead on a David Ortiz double and a J.D. Drew two-run homer. However, the Red Sox failed to hold the slim lead for the second consecutive game.
Despite Red Sox pitcher Tim Wakefield being the oldest player on the field, he out-dueled the Royals young-gun, 26-year-old Kyle Davies. Wakefield left the game in line for the win even after he gave up back-to-back home runs in the sixth inning. The home runs came off the bats of Royals’ Billy Butler and Rick Ankiel.
Ankiel wasn’t about to settle for just a solo home run. The Royals’ center fielder got greedy and smacked a broken-bat single into left field, which scored the game tying and go-ahead runs. The one-run lead proved to be insurmountable for the Red Sox and they lost the game 4-3. Their record is now 1-3 and they are tied for last place in the American League East.
Of course it is way to early to push the panic button, but the underlying problem with designated hitter David Ortiz will need to be addressed sooner rather than later. It is heart breaking to any Red Sox fan who has followed the club since their amazing 2004 World Series run. Any Sox follower knows that Ortiz proved to be one of the most clutch batters in Red Sox history after hitting two game-winners against the Yankees in the ’04 ALCS.
Times have changed and players around the league are growing older. David Ortiz seems to be leading the pack. His early struggles last season lead to many questions from the media. Now, Ortiz faces these questions everyday, and after getting ejected in the fifth inning of Friday’s game, it is obvious the frustration is settling in. If the Red Sox continue this losing streak they will be forced to make some changes, and the first one will likely be Ortiz. If this does happen, it will be a painful day for every member of Red Sox Nation.
The Boston Red Sox opened the 2010 Major League Baseball season with a bang Sunday night after making a late-inning comeback against the New York Yankees.
The Yankees got off to a quick 2-0 lead when catcher Jorge Posada and center fielder Curtis Granderson hit back-to-back home runs in the second inning. Any speculation about how Granderson would fit into the Yankees powerhouse lineup stopped abruptly when he homered in his first at-bat and followed it by making a catch while slamming into the green monster.
However,Kevin Youkilis, and Dustin Pedroia answered for the Red Sox. Youkilis hit a deep off-the-wall double off of C.C. Sabathia and eventually came in to score after a sacrifice fly by Adrian Beltre. Pitcher Josh Beckett continued to struggle and was pulled midway through the fifth inning. He allowed five runs and only recorded one strikeout.
Sabathia continued to cruise through the game allowing only the hit to Youkilis until the fifth inning, where he allowed three more hits and another earned run. The excited opening night crowd at Fenway was silent going into the sixth, with the score 5-2. After a Pedroia walk and Victor Martinez double to put men on second and third, Kevin Youkilis stepped into the batter’s box and took the form of a superhero. He tripled off the monster, driving in two runs and later scored on a Beltre single. The game was tied at 5 and the Red Sox bats were alive.
After struggling against Beckett, Yankees third baseman Alex Rodriguez got his first hit, doubling to left field in the seventh. A ground out from Robinson Cano scored another Yankee run and a single from Posada added their last. Heading into the seventh the Red Sox were trailing 7-5.
Yankees pitcher Chan Ho Park stepped to the mound and allowed a quick single to Macro Scutaro. After striking out Jacoby Ellsbury, who finished the game hitless, Pedroia came to bat once again. He crushed a pitch from Park over the monster and tied the game at 7. Youkilis then doubled for the second time. The stage was set for David “Big Papi” Ortiz to hit in the go-ahead run for the Sox. However, he was walked and held hitless for the night. Instead, it was two wild pitches that resulted in Youkilis scoring the run.
Red Sox center fielder Mike Cameron added one more run in the bottom of the eight to make the score 9-7 and give Jonathan Papelbon the chance for the save.
Papelbon did just that. The win belonged to Red Sox relief pitcher Hideki Ojamia (1-0). The loss credited to Chan Ho Park (0-1), and the save to Papelbon (1)
The Red Sox will play the Yankees again on Tuesday night.
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