Boston Red Sox: 3 takeaways from Opening Day win at Fenway

BOSTON, MA - APRIL 05: Hanley Ramirez
BOSTON, MA - APRIL 05: Hanley Ramirez /

The Boston Red Sox finished their home opener in stunning fashion, as Hanley Ramirez hit a walkoff single in the 12th

That’s six in a row for the Boston Red Sox. The club won their sixth straight game yesterday in the twelfth inning on a walk-off single by Hanley Ramirez. David Price would start the game and put in a spectacular start as the Red Sox offense wasn’t able to support him. After Carson Smith let the Rays get in front in the 8th, the Sox would rally in the 9th to force extra innings. There with the bases loaded in the twelfth, Ramirez would win the game for the Red Sox.

Hanley keeps raking

Ramirez is beginning to turn heads as he looks to have a redemption season from last year. As of right now, he is on an absolute tear.
Through six games he’s batting .310 with a home run and six RBI (leading the Red Sox). At the plate, he’s liking everything he’s seeing. Pitches down and away are finding Hanley’s bat at an alarming rate, and he is turning them into hits like the game winner today.

In a hectic Fenway home opener, Hanley was called upon twice in the clutch to produce a big hit, and he went 2-for-2. The first came as the Red Sox needed to get 2 runs following a blown hold by Carson Smith. With men on first and second, El Trece would hit a bloop shot to center field to drive in Mookie Betts and get the Sox on the board. And then in the 12th inning, a long single to drive home the walk-off run and seal the victory.

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If he keeps up his current pace, he could have a similar season to his 2016 campaign. Which was easily his most successful season with the Red Sox, Hanley in 2016 batted .286 with 30 home runs and 111 RBI. Last season definitely left much to be desired as he spent most of the season beaten and battered by injury. Batting below .250 and only hitting 23 home runs, Ramirez turned in a disappointing season, but he looks different this year. In 2016, he had the courtesy of batting behind the greatest DH to ever play in David Ortiz. In 2018 he’s found himself in the 3 hole.

Red Sox manager Alex Cora has messed around with the lineup and perhaps he’s found the best spot for his first baseman. Hanley took up the Tom Brady diet in the offseason, and maybe these are the effects. Whatever the case, it’s working.

David Price stays dominant

The David Price retribution tour 2018 is in full force so far. In 2 starts, Price has looked like the 31 million dollar pitcher that Dave Dombrowski paid for back in 2015. Yesterday he pitched 7 scoreless innings, letting up 3 hits and 3 walks while striking out 5. That makes it 14 scoreless innings for Price as he comes out to a steaming hot start in 2018. He was given the no-decision today as the Red Sox offense was again stagnant on a remarkably cold April afternoon.

Hitters are batting just .149 against the big lefty from Vanderbilt. With two starts under his belt, Price looks to have hit his stride and is doing some of the best pitching he’s done as a Red Sox. Sure, it’s against the same club he beat up on against last week, but keeping momentum will be what helps Price continue to be dominant.

The strikeout numbers are still a little low, especially for Price, who specializes in the way of the K. Price is off to a great start in 2018, and looks like he’s ready to pitch at a high level again.

Bobby Poyner comes up big

Rookie relief pitcher Bobby Poyner might’ve worked his way into a much-expanded role in the Red Sox bullpen. He had a rough debut against Tampa Bay as he only faced two batters and let up a solo shot on the first pitch of his major league career. Since then, 3 appearances, no runs allowed, and 6 strikeouts.
Today was his shining moment as he got his first major league victory. Poyner made quick work of the Rays, while only allowing 1 hit. The recently poor play of Carson Smith may also lend to Poyner receiving more opportunities instead of the long relief job. Another scenario could also be that Matt Barnes takes over the 8th inning role and Poyner becomes the Lefty Specialist. Either way, Poyner has been a solid risk for the Boston Red Sox to take.

Next: The best places to sit at Fenway Park

Whats next?

The Boston Red Sox will get today off. They play the second game of their 3 game series with the Rays. It’s good to be back home with the Fenway Faithful.