The series finale between the Red Sox and Pirates scheduled for 1:35 today has been rained out, which gives me the chance to recap last nights game this afternoon. Chris Sale made his Red Sox debut last night and looked strong, pitching 7 shutout innings with only 3 hits allowed and 7 strikeouts. The cold weather did play a factor last night because there were plenty of hard hit balls that maybe could have left the park if this was during the summer. But that’s not a good reason to take anything away from Sale’s performance because both starters pitched shutouts. Sale’s breaking pitches were lethal last night and you could tell from the start this guy was locked in. I think we’re in for a treat this season when Sale takes mound. He’s a gamer and he looks like he wants to perform here. The one walk he gave up all night he was angry at himself and it’s only game 2 of the season. I know it’s early but it looks like the Red Sox hit a homerun with this guy.
Speaking of home runs Sandy Leon (aka. Sandy Ballgame) walked off the Red Sox to victory in the 12th inning with a 3 run blast into the monster seats. Offenses on both sides were quiet for most of the game but that’s expected on a cold night. I’m not saying Sandy Leon could win the batting title this season, but I am saying there’s a chance he could win the batting title. He is batting a whopping .625 this season (Yes it’s only game 2 but let’s not forget he batted .500 in his first 40 at bats last season) and I think it’s obvious he will be the go to catcher for the most part this season. Just touching base on the bullpen they looked strong with 5 shutout innings. Matt Barnes bounced back after a shaky performance on opening day. Craig Kimbrel looked sharp in a tie game in the 9th, as we know he struggled last season when he was pitching in non save situations. Joe Kelly who many thought was starting the season as the set up man pitched 2 shutout innings in the 11th and 12th to earn the win. A great performance from the pen which is probably the Red Sox biggest issue as the season gets under way. Hopefully they can be a consistent group this season. With that, the undefeated Red Sox travel to Detroit tomorrow for an afternoon matchup with Tigers in their home opener.
FINAL/12: Red Sox 3 – Pirates 0