With the finish of the 2010 season fresh in our minds, this is an interesting scorecard to look at. It wasn’t from very long ago, but it makes me long for that year gone by.
Picture in your mind the line-up that started that final game against the Yankees this season. Then, look at the line-up listed on the left side of this scorecard. Makes you a little weepy, doesn’t it? Want to really start the tears flowing? Check out the lines in the pitchers box. Why can’t the Sox get pitchers like that?
As the “notes” box clearly states, this was Opening Day at Fenway for the 2009 season. The game had been rained out the day before, so the Sox had to take advantage of the standard off day following the opener. Just look at that line-up. Ellsbury-Pedroia-Ortiz started things off with a flourish. Youkils-Drew-Bay made up an actual heart of the order. Lowell-Lowrie-Varitek rounded out an amazing bottom of the order. The best player this day? I’ll have to go with Dustin Pedroia. His home run filled out his batting line nicely. The goat? Has to be Ellsbury. 0-4 isn’t what you’re looking for from your exciting leadoff hitter. Despite that, the Sox were able to put up five runs, and hold off a late charge by the defending AL Champs.
I know it was painful the first time, but look at that pitchers box again. Josh Beckett got the nod. He went seven innings, giving up one earned run! Not only that, but he struck out ten guys in those seven innings. If most of his 2010 starts were like that, the Sox might have overcome all the injuries. Same goes for Mr. Papelbon. One inning pitched, and two strikeouts. Not even a single base runner. A few more outings like that in 2010, and things would have been different.
But, after this game, the Sox were off and running. They had pitching. They had offense. They had it all. Justin Masterson would use his outing today to help prove he was worth shipping off for Victor Martinez. It was a great start.
And the scorecard shows how it happened.