Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Well, that was a hell of a way to start the season.

Of course, I'm talking about this morning's opener in Tokyo between the defending World Series champion Boston Red Sox (just can't say that too many times) and the Oakland A's.

I was only able to catch the first inning on TV, since I did have to work today, so I relied on Joe Castiglione and Dale Arnold to tell me what was going on. Things started out pretty rocky as Daisuke could not control his breaking pitches in the first two innings. Matsuzaka gave up a home run and a bunch of walks, but miraculously only surrendered two runs. I'm thinking there were some nerves involved in pitching on Opening Day in front of his home fans. Fortunately, he was able to get it together and was much more effective in his last three innings of work.

The offense finally woke up in the 6th after not doing much with the A's Joe Blanton. The big offensive stars of the day were Brandon Moss, who hit a 9th inning home run to tie the game and Manny. He had 4 RBI, including the game winners in the top of the 10th.

Moss only got into the game because JD Drew came up with a stiff back. He certainly made the most of his opportunity. Okajima got the win and Papelbon got an ugly save. He was bailed out by a baserunning gaffe by the A's Emil Brown.

Some good and bad in this game. Manny seems to be primed for a monster season as he tries to get that $20 million option picked up. Daisuke and Paps weren't at their best, but I don't think the odd schedule helps them get into a routine.

It could be a tough year to be an A's fan. The starting lineup seems to be loaded with guys who could use another year at Triple-A. Billy Beane traded away a lot of his veterans to reload the farm system, but they could be a 90-loss team for the next couple of years while these guys gain some experience.

Bottom line, the Sox won the game and it was a great way to start the 2008 season.


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