It seems natural, the Boston Red Sox win on St.Patrick’s Day, right? They always do! OK, I made that last part up, but it’s a spring tradition unlike most in baseball–the Red Sox donning some kind of green in their uniforms, almost always their caps, and packing the spectators in at a Spring Training game.
This season’s game was even a bit better. Jon Lester pitched six perfect innings before a crowd of over 9500 at JetBlue Park in kelley green uniforms. The expected opening day starter was spectacular, facing 18 batters and sitting 18 batters down. Sure the Red Sox might have had the luck o’ the Irish in their history, but today they didn’t need it. Lester was back to his old form, in complete control of both the mound and the hitters.
On a day when the merchandising is usually in control, the Sox put together a game that all hopes to see come April and beyond. Lester was perfect, Jonny Gomes went 3 for 3 with four RBI, and the Sox added two more shutout innings from Anthony Carter and Joel Hanrahan before giving up a run. And more importantly–no injuries!
The Red Sox have 12 more games before opening day on April Fool’s Day in the Bronx, and need to keep the momentum going. Not in wins and losses, but in terms of gaining a knowledge of who is going to be there and how they will perform for the regular season when the games matter.
Clay Buchholz is up next on Monday, and while his job isn’t in question, several other key spots will be determined over the next two weeks. The hope around JetBlue Park at Fenway South is for the team to stay healthy, the manager to stay sane, and the Big Papi, David Ortiz, heals up before April is over!
Perhaps a new Irish blessing in Red Sox Nation?