David Ortiz got two special rings to celebrate the 2013 World Series win on Friday afternoon. (Photo by Kelly O’Connor via SittingStill.smugmug.com)

Through one full rotation of the starters, the Boston Red Sox stand at 2-3 and have lost two straight at Fenway Park to the Milwaukee Brewers due to lack of offensive and bullpen struggles after the bullpen did not allow a single run in the Baltimore Orioles series. Clay Buchholz is something to worry about with a lack of velocity and ability to locate on various pitches, but there were some encouraging signs through the first five contests, especially with the amount of runners getting on base and the pitching staff as a whole.

The best part of the week had to be the Opening Day at Fenway. The Red Sox got their rings, including a couple special rings for David Ortiz, and a great ceremony to honor the fallen firefighters last week and to remember the Boston Marathon bombing victims with the bringing out of the rings. The Red Sox also honored all the championships won in New England with all the trophies (eight in all) that were all on the field before the first pitch.

Here are some other notes from the first week of play:

Bullpen Soaring

The bullpen has allowed just five runs in five games, but four of those came off of Edward Mujica on a rough outing Friday evening against the Brewers in which he was roughed up for five hits and Andrew Miller allowed an inherited runner to score. The other came Saturday as the Brewers won 7-6 in the 11th inning against Burke Badenhop.

The relievers have thrown 17.1 innings so far and the ERA comes out to 2.08 in those innings which is great compared to most of the MLB squads that are blowing leads left and right out of the gate in the opening week. The real staggering number is that the pitchers have combined for 25 strikeouts to just four walks and two of those are from Andrew Miller on Friday. If the bullpen pitches like this all season, then the Red Sox will be in a great spot come September/October.

Red Sox Leaving Runners on Base

The best thing the Red Sox have done is getting on base almost every single game, but 36 runners left on base through five games is something that should worry Sox fans just a little bit. It is encouraging to see that the offense can still get runner after runner on the base paths, but without that big hit in most games, the offensive numbers haven’t really added up.

For instance, look at the numbers with runners in scoring position. In the first four games of the season, the Red Sox were only 3-for-31, including 0-for-10 on Opening Day in a 2-1 loss to the Orioles. Saturday night, however, the team was 2-for-6 and showed great poise at the plate to rally back from a 6-2 hole with Buchholz struggling and some botched fielding from the Brew Crew.

Luckily, the team will have Shane Victorino back some time late this month and that should help deepen the lineup. But, in the meantime, the team needs to find a way to get that big hit with runners in scoring position to put contests away.

Moving Forward

The Red Sox will finish up the series with the Brewers this afternoon before hosting the Texas Rangers for a three-game set. After that, the team will head to New York to face the Yankees in a four-game set.

Prediction: 5-2; the Red Sox starters have been solid and should be able to beat up on the starters for the Rangers and Yankees, especially the struggling bullpen for the Rangers. Plus, the team should be ready for a newly heightened rivalry with the amount of money the Bronx Bombers spent in the offseason and would want to play especially well at Yankee Stadium.