Getting off a 1-0 start in a season is great, but more than the final score, baseball fans want positive signs for the 161 games to follow.
Red Sox fans not only got a win on Opening Day Monday in Philly, an 8-0 pounding of the Phillies, but there were two bright red signs that fans can hang their hats on.
Clay Buchholz, whose days as a top-of-the-line starter were thought to be behind him, looked very much like an ace Monday. Dustin Pedroia, whose power numbers were laughable if not non-existent in recent seasons, looked like he was 27-years-old again Monday.
Buchholz threw 95 pitches, 66 for strikes, against the Phillies and allowed just three hits while not giving up a run. He walked just one and struck out nine. It was his best performance since complete game win over Tampa Bay last Aug. 31.
Pedroia’s two-homer day against the Phils was even more out-of-character than Buchholz’s performance as the second baseman hit just seven home runs total in 2014 and is four seasons removed from his career-high home run season of 21 in 2011. Pedroia scored Boston’s first run of the 2015 season with a solo shot to left-center in the first inning and he went yard again in the fifth with a blast to left. It was Pedroia’s first multi-homer game since the 2011 season.
All of Boston’s runs came via the home run in the season opener Monday, as Mookie Betts hit a solo homer in the third and Hanley Ramirez collected five RBIs on the day thanks to blasts in the fifth and ninth innings.
The Sox are off Tuesday but will play the second game of their three-game set against the Phils on Wednesday (7 p.m., NESN) and Rick Porcello makes his Boston debut against Aaron Harang.