Baseball season has begun. The sudden rush of wind that was experienced around the nation Monday night was not, in fact, a nationwide hurricane. It was the sound of the Red Sox Nation breathing a sigh of relief at the realization that their team was not going to go 0-9 to begin this season. 1-10, anyone? We shall see. It’s been a tough beginning for the Red Sox Nation, and I didn’t expect any differently. I’ve been saying for a long time that 2012 is going to be a painful year to be a Red Sox fan. Was Bobby V the right choice for manager? I don’t know. I wasn’t all that excited about it. In fact, I may have made a few faces when I heard the news. Then I was thinking, well, maybe he is just what they need. Five games into the season, with a 1-4 record, and even that one win being rather indecisive, I’m less certain of that. The bullpen has blown two late inning leads, and starting pitching has been less than stellar. Jon Lester wasn’t bad, but he had the misfortune of pitching against the half man/half machine Verlander. Sox bats got to the Tigers closer, but Melancon and Aceves teamed up to blow the game. Josh Becket…I don’t normally use the kind of words that would describe his opening performance. Buchholz wasn’t much better, but Melancon once again flubbed that one (this time AFTER Aceves flubbed it in the ninth). The one game they finally won, Doubront didn’t pitch badly, but the team didn’t rally until the top of the ninth, once again getting to a closer, this time Toronto’s closer. As Aceves was warming up, I said, “Hey, it’s the battle to see whose closer is worse!” Fortunately, Aceves was strong in this game, got the side down 1-2-3, and the Sox have their only win of the season, so far. Last night, Daniel Bard was not great in his first start. He wasn’t horrible…he struck out Bautista twice (at least…I only saw it twice). But, once again, the bats weren’t working, and they decided again to wait until the ninth inning to rally. But they didn’t rally enough, as they were behind 7-1. Final score, 7-3. The Red Sox, at 1-4 are in dead last in the AL East. Fortunately, the Evil Empire hasn’t fared much better, and are in fourth place at 2-3. The Desperate Housewives sit atop the division at 3-1.
So, let’s see how my other favorite team is doing. The Rangers have started out strong. They won Opening Day, but it was a close game. Colby Lewis had a strong outing and beat the Other Sox 3-2. Saturday’s game didn’t go quite as well, as closer Joe Nathan gave up a game losing home run in the ninth inning. 4-3 Other Sox win. Sunday, however, Matt Harrison had a fabulous outing and combined with the bullpen to shut out the Other Sox 5-0, aided by home runs from Murphy, Hamilton, and Beltre. Monday night’s game was the long-awaited and greatly hyped debut of the Japanese phenom, Yu Darvish. He started out rather poorly, giving up 5 runs in the first two innings. Fortunately for him, the Rangers bats were on fire that night, and they scored 11 runs for him. If Seattle’s pitching had been decent, he would not have gotten that win. He settled down after two innings, and no more runs were scored. Rangers win 11-5, behind home runs from Cruz, Hamilton, Moreland, and Kinsler (who, by the way was sealed up until 2017 with a nice contract that night). Last night was one of those games that people who aren’t true baseball fans complain about. It was also a game that baseball fans like me simply love! It was Neftali Feliz’s debut as a starter. He has been the Rangers closer for several years, and is now getting an opportunity to start. He did not waste that opportunity. The man was stellar! He gave up no hits into four innings. When he left the game, I believe he had given up three (maybe four…not sure). I just checked the stats. It was four. No runs. Mike Adams and Joe Nathan teamed up to finish the 1-0 shut out. The only run in the game provided by an RBI single from David Murphy, scoring Michael Young in the second inning. I was on an elliptical machine at 24 Hour Fitness when UeHorror started warming up in the bullpen and I literally shouted “NO” out loud in the gym. I shook my fist at the TV screen! Ron Washington don’t you DARE endanger Feliz’s win by bringing in that miserable pitcher!! He must have heard me, because it turned out to be Mike Adams who came in. Rangers win, 1-0 and are 4-1 on the season, and in first place, 1.5 games ahead of the Mariners and the Angels. I say, give the $50 million+ to Neftali Feliz. He was MUCH more impressive than Yu Darvish. However, to be fair, I will admit that Darvish’s first two innings (and his 7.94 ERA) could be due to opening jitters, and am willing to reserve final judgment until he’s got a few more starts under his belt.
There are two undefeated teams remaining after yesterday. The Tigers are 4-0. The Diamondback of Arizona are 4-0. There is only one team left that has yet to win a game. The Twins are 0-4. Poor Twins. How sad.
Well, there you have it. A recap of the season so far. Should you happen to care.