The Red Sox won again last night, bumping their early-season record to 2-0 and knocking the battered Yankees down a peg. The score was 7-4, behind a strong outing from Clay Buchholz. Buchholz held the Yankee bats to one run over seven innings of work. The New York pitching staff wasn’t as lucky: starter Hiroki Kuroda took a Shane Victorino single off his pitching hand in the second inning and had to leave the game with what turned out to be a bruise. Pinstriped old-timer Vernon Wells hit a three-run home run in the New York eighth, and Travis Hafner hit a single shot in the fourth, but that was all the offense the Yankees could muster (it’s almost symbolic that this creaky old Titanic of an offense only scored off of home runs hit by two of the creakiest men in the majors).
The Red Sox, meanwhile – screw small sample sizes. The Sox are going to go undefeated, win the division, sweep the postseason, and win the World Series AND the 2016 Democratic primary (Massachusetts is a blue state, after all). Look at these lines:
Daniel Nava – .667/.800/1.000
Jose Iglesias (yes, Jose Iglesias) – .556/.556/.667
Jonny Gomes – .500/.600/.500
Jarrod Saltalamacchia – .429/.600/.571
Jacoby Ellsbury – .400/.455/.600
Dustin Pedroia – .364/.364/.364 (4 for 11, all singles – how often do you see a line that matches up across the columns?)
Now granted, the only one of those players I think can actually stay near those early marks is Pedroia – he could hit .360 if he had a great year, and obviously he’ll also hit something more than a single eventually – as we know, all he does in the off-season is straight bodybuilding, so, there’s that to look forward to. And Jackie Bradley, Jr., the king of the spring, has only hit .167/.500/.167 in the early going (three walks and one single in six official at-bats, giving us the low average and slugging percentage but the eyebrow-raising on-base percentage). Will Middlebrooks has a .000 batting average – (hopefully) that won’t stick, either. But, these lines are fun. Daniel Nava will be 80 years old one day, sitting in a rocking chair and talking to his grandkids about the week he had a .660 average in the major leagues. Early statistics are basically worthless, but they sure do make for good “listen up sonny, and I’ll tell you about back when I was a major-leaguer” story.
Red Sox-Yankees again, tonight. Ryan Dempster makes his debut against Andy Pettitte, who still hasn’t retired (again). Let’s see if the Yankees can make something of this series behind one of their greats, or if the Sox can open up with a series sweep on the road.
Here’s the box score from last night, courtesy of the Red Sox.