The day that Red Sox Nation waited all winter for finally came on Monday, as the Boston opened the 2015 season on the road against the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Red Sox wasted no time getting to work on Phillies starter Cole Hamels, and launched four solo home runs over the first five innings. Red Sox second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, got the scoring started in the top of the first inning, and went deep again in the fifth frame. In between the Laser Show, young centerfielder Mookie Betts also collected a solo shot of his own in the third inning. Hanley Ramirez’s homecoming party also got underway, as his fifth inning shot gave Boston a commanding four run lead.
Meanwhile, Boston starter Clay Buchholz kept the Phillies offense quiet over seven strong innings of work. In his first career opening day start, the right-hander managed to hold Philadelphia to just 3 hits and one walk. Buchholz used his entire arsenal of pitches effectively, and managed to collect eight strikeouts.
In the ninth inning, after a single and two walks, the Red Sox put the game out of reach for good. After falling down in the count 0-2, Hanley Ramirez drilling a grand slam off the left field foul pole to double the Red Sox score.
With Boston enjoying an eight run lead in the bottom half of the ninth, the Red Sox called upon left-hander Tommy Layne to finish the game off. Layne went on to pitch a scoreless frame and secure the Red Sox first win of the year.
- While the Red Sox current catching duo of Ryan Hanigan and Sandy Leon might make one think that the door is wide open for top prospect Blake Swihart, anticipation for the 23-year old should be tamed. At least for now. Red Sox assistant general manager Mike Hazen said Boston will take their time with Swihart, despite an outstanding spring training showing. (Red Sox assistant GM Mike Hazen on MFB: “No time frame” for Blake Swihart call-up)
- After bludgeoning the Phillies, the Red Sox announced that the team and right-hander Rick Porcello agreed to terms on a new four year contract extension. The 26-year old, whom was acquired this offseason in exchange for Yoenis Cespedes, will make a total of $82.5M over the course of the deal. In turn, Boston’s rotation will gain some much needed stability. (Red Sox and Rick Porcello agree to a 4 year, $82.5 million contract extension)
- While some may argue that it should be Rusney Castillo in right field, instead of Shane Victorino, that doesn’t make today any more or less special for the 34-year old outfielder. Victorino, who missed almost all of last season with hamstring and back problems, has spent the last year battling back to prove that he’s still an everyday player. Now, with the season underway, the Hawaii native knows that his battle is only getting started. (No one more excited for Opening Day than Shane Victorino)
- While there weren’t many surprises to the Red Sox’ Opening Day line-up, the team did have some notable snubs after breaking camp. Matt Barnes, who turned heads during the spring with a blistering fastball and a darting curve, was one name left off the final roster. Likewise, right fielder Rusney Castillo put on an impressive showing both offensively and defensively during the spring, despite starting the year with an oblique injury. (Snubs, surprises and grades for Red Sox’s final 25-man roster)
- Hopefully we can look forward to more tweets like this