Monday, April 11, 2011

OK. Now I’m Into It.

I told you that I really needed the Home Opener, and I was right. The season seems to have really started for me finally. And, no, it’s not just because they’re winning. Was the losing annoying? Sure. It was agonizing to read the same thing in every game report. “No need to worry. It’s just one game. Or two games. Or Six. But, did you know that nobody have ever won after losing this many games?” It was an annoying attempt to stay calm, but jump off a cliff at the same time. Nobody was willing to doubt the team, but wanted to have a “told you so” if things went bad. Just like the people screaming that they fell too far behind last April were so annoying when they ended up missing the playoffs last October. The slow start meant nothing until they lost half their team to injury. So, winning helped with that annoyance.

Friday was the first game this season I was able to see in person, and it was a beautiful day. Something about sitting in the stands keeping score that just seems like baseball. I could see the players. I could see the field. I could deal with annoying loud guys sitting near to me. It all started. Even though the game itself was pretty much torture, it was the kick-start of the season, and it felt really good.

Last night’s game was the first one I’ve been able to see televised. Once again, being able to see all the player’s faces was refreshing. Looking at batting stances and wind-ups adds a dimension that was missing previously. And, what a game it was! It was vintage Beckett. Except that Beckett never pitched like that for the Sox against the Yankees. After so many starters slogging through their outings, it’s nice to see that the bar has been raised. The most amazing part is that Beckett was so efficient against the Yankees. A team built on taking pitches couldn’t get Beckett off the hill until the ninth inning. Brilliant. It was also nice to see the Sox beat up on a tough lefty. I know they didn’t score many runs off CC. But, the one fear going into the season was that this lefty-heavy line-up would be crushed by good lefties. It’s nice to get one of those starts out of the way with good results. The only bad part about last night was the plunking of Adrian Gonzalez. With the way this season has gone, you just knew that was going to be a crushing development. Hopefully he’ll be just fine.

Speaking of Gonzalez, do you think David Ortiz was watching his performance on Friday? A ball slapped against the shift to where the shortstop should have been, and a bunt base hit all in the same game? That’s exactly what Ortiz needs to start doing more often.

Let’s see if they can keep the home fires burning.

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