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BOS @ OAK - GM 1 - 6:05 a.m.

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It's finally here, folks. It's Opening Day and it's time to wake up bright and early to see our Red Sox start the season. I would say there's no more spring training, but that's a lie. And although it may not feel like Opening Day, baseball is back.Real baseball is back. Let's enjoy it.

And more importantly, let's defend our title.

I'm still trying to figure all these "widgets" out, so give me a break while I break in the open threads.


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2007 - Daisuke Matsuzaka 15-12 4.40 1.33 201 80


W-L ERA WHIP K BB
2007 - Joe Blanton 14-10 3.95 1.22 140 40

Blanton can only be described as a work horse. He started 34 games last season and and racked up 230 innings, which is extremely impressive for a 26-year-old. The one stat that pops out at me is his 40 walks. For pitching 230 innings, that's pretty solid number. But his 1.21 WHIP shows me he allows quite a few hits as well. That's how the Sox will need to get at him today.

GAME NOTES:

  • Ace Josh Beckett is officially on the disabled list, retroactive to March 19 meaning he'll be available April 3.
    Sean Casey is apparently feeling better and has been activated to play in today's opener. In return, Dusty Brown was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket. Kevin Cash will be the sole backup behind Jason Varitek.
    According to Terry Francona, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury will hit near the bottom of the lineup to start the season to prevent any sort of overload on the rookie.
  • Tim Wakefield and Mike Timlin will be inactive for both games in Japan. Timlin had stitches in his ring finger while Wakefield just pitched in an exhibition game against the Yomiuri Giants.