Friday, April 1, 2011

2011 Opening Day: An Opening Bid

I felt elated through the first 5 or so innings of today’s game. Buehrle was shutting down the Indians. Sure, they had a couple of hits, but they couldn’t score a run. The Sox, on the other hand, drove the Indians’ pitcher out of the game by the 4th inning, and were two touchdowns (14 runs) ahead. I couldn’t have been happier if Joe Crede himself was playing third base. Everyone (but Rios, of course) had a hit, Dunn and Carlos had homered… spirits were high, and the game was moving along.

And then the 6th inning game. Slow. Painful. Four runs later, Buehrle exited the game, with a 10-run lead. And then the floodgates opened. Ohman’s first thrown pitch was a solo home run. (Yes, his ERA after just 0.2 innings of play is 40.50] Crain earned some runs (as did Tony Pena), and even Chris Sale looked bad (despite not being credited with any runs). Fans on Twitter joked that “All In” meant have to put every single player in the game. I joked that it was Josh Fields’s fault. Overall, I can’t put my finger on it.

The offensive explosion seemed promising in the beginning, but faltered toward the end, indicating some of the problems of previous year. The bullpen looked so shaky, I could imagine Bobby Jenks stroking his bleached goatee and laughing an evil laugh.

 It’s not exactly the way I planned to spend my time after opening day. Usually a game won is pretty clear cut. But I haven’t felt so bad and so good about a game at the same time in very long.

I guess what I’m really trying to say is that it’s day one. It really doesn’t determine anything. What it does is give fans hope for the next 161 games, it brings the word “baseball” into conversation, and it makes conversations a little bit more interesting than “that was a good game.” In the end, that’s what baseball is all about. Averages, numbers, the “long-run”, not just a small sample. So the Sox are off with a win, and the fans are left with many questions whose answers are just beyond the 9th inning of every game from now until October. Cheers to Opening Day.

PS: Joe Crede walks into a bar. Everyone buys him a beer. No joke. Just what it’s like being AWESOME.

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