Nothing makes the chilly temperature rise like an Opening Day win, and with it a pristine record that evokes idyllic hopes of 162-0. It came yesterday, a near-perfect performance in the Red Sox’ second stab at game No. 1, a renewal of acquaintances with the team that kept them from getting to the World Series last year.
So 26 hours after Josh Beckett was supposed to head to the mound, after the rains had washed away the first Opening Day, the staff ace made like a staff ace as the Fenway Park crowd met the 2009 version of the Red Sox.
It was, in its 2-hour-39-minute efficiency, its close score, its mastery on the mound, perhaps the quintessential contemporary Red Sox experience. With one of the best pitching staffs in baseball and an offense that is far more of a doubles threat than a home run threat, the Sox probably will be winning more games in yesterday’s fashion than in the fashion of yore.
“I think we’ve got a great offense, I think we’ve definitely got great starting pitching,” J.D. Drew said. “It’s just a matter of getting them enough runs to get the victory. I think what you saw today was a good example of what you’ll see a lot this year.”
Those slugfests? Those 10-8 games? Those might be in the past, with yesterday’s 5-3 win over the Rays serving as Exhibit A, what Mike Lowell called “a nice, complete game.” Not that everyone is exactly buying that theory.
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