I sure got a thrill out of watching our team play today. Several things jumped out at me as important:
Crisp and Loretta each had some GREAT at bats, with Loretta seeing over 30 pitches BY HIMSELF today. Crisp's antics over at 1B easily contributed to Millwood losing focus and giving Papi something to hit. I'm confident that their BA's will rise, and they'll continue to give pitchers FITS this year.
Each Sox hitter seemed to be taking the first pitch, except for the mashers, who sometimes were green-lighted. I'm a big pitch count guy, so I loved watching this pay off.
3.) The Unlikely Heros
Okay, so Papi provided the thunder today, but A-Gon and Mike Lowell gave us unexpected production. Sure, we hoped Lowell would do SOMETHING with the bat, but a homer in his first game? I'll take it. Gonzales had a nice 2-for-4 day, and was fluid in the field.
4.) The Big Guy
What else can be said? Schilling dominated today. His 7 strong innings contained only 5 hits, one walk, and he struck out 5 while giving up 2 runs. I was surprised that Schill went out for the 7th, as 117 pitches is a lot for Opening Day. Schilling was strong though, hitting 94mph in the 7th. He topped out at 96mph during his outing, something we were all glad to see. I was particularly excited to see him look so good against a dangerous team in a dangerous park.
Overall? A good start. We snapped our Opening Day losing streak, got Schill a W, and looked solid at the plate and in the field. Crisp's effect was immediate, and the big guys were in form. With the exception of Foulke's uneasy outing, and A-Gon's baserunning blunder, I was very pleased to watch our team play some great baseball.