Pat Morey: It appears Farrell abandoned his work the count approach in that first inning. Hard to argue with the results.
Greg Habeeb: Agreed. The guys were being aggressive from the get go, and it paid off in the short term with a home run.
Really great to see DP go yard right away. If he’s healthy and motivated, there’s no reason for him not to return to his usual .300 hitting ways.
PM: And the team needs that Pedey, not the get hot for two weeks at a time Pedey. There’s a lot of big bats in the middle of the lineup, but they need help from the top and bottom if this offense is going to work. If Pedey is locked in with Papi, Hanley, Panda, and Napoli behind him, look out.
Also, I hate opening the season in the NL. This offense has been hyped up, and I want to see it at its full capacity on opening day. Be better, MLB.
GH: I know i thought that was bizarre. Interleague sucks in general, so I’m definitely not a huge fan of that whole situation.
Speaking of guys who need to get healthy, there goes the Flyin’ Hawaiian walking and stealing bases like it’s 2013. He could be an X-factor this year.
PM: They really missed him last season in the outfield and in the lineup. Gold glove caliber defense and a terror on the basepath. The battle for right field between him and Castillo could get really interesting, though, if he doesn’t find that 2013 form. That outfield is getting crowded awfully fast.
Speaking of the outfield, right on cue is MOOOOOOKIE!!
GH: MOOKIEEEE!!! How awesome is it that he earned his spot in the lineup by absolutely raking this spring? I’m all in on Betts. If you told me he was going to hit .350/.420/.500 this year i would believe you in a heartbeat.
PM: I’ll always hold a little grudge with Mookie since he probably gave Jackie Bradley Jr. his final push out the door, but man is it exciting to have a superstar prospect look so great. Should we just give him MVP now or…?
GH: Maybe we should wait another game or two.
Meanwhile it’s the fifth inning and we have now hit 4 home runs after Pedey and Hanley “The Incredible Hulk” Ramirez just went yard.
It’s really encouraging to see guys get good swings on a top tier pitcher so early in the season. If everyone can stay healthy, the Sox are going to rake this year, theres no doubt about that.
PM:PEDEY EATS FASTBALLS FOR BREAKFAST
Also, I love how Clay is attacking the strike zone. He was virtually unhittable a couple years back when he could throw strikes and force batters to swing at that ridiculous curve.
GH: It’s encouraging to see him not stink up the joint (at least so far), but just remember it’s against a Phillies team that might not win 60 games.
PM: It’s baby steps with Buchholz. Pitching well against a sucky team is a good start. He couldn’t have done this last year.
Regardless of whatever happens with our questionable rotation, I find it hard to think this offense won’t be a juggernaut. There’s power and on base guys everywhere you look. They should fill up some ludicrous box scores this year.
GH: It’s also encouraging that Buchholz is locating and has movement on all of his pitches. That is important no matter who you’re facing.
Hamels is done after 5 innings. Victorino is leading off against righty Garcia, and he hasn’t flipped around to bat left handed. I guess he’s ditching the switch hitting thing after all.
PM: Victorino can bat with his eyes closed for all I care as long as he keeps getting on base like this.
I would’ve liked to see a little hit and run there with Victorino on first and X up to bat with Hannigan and Buchholz on deck. Do you think they wanted X to swing away or they don’t trust him to make contact?
GH: I’m sure it had more to do with it being early in the season and winning the game than anything else. I feel like you want to let guys get their swings in early on in the season. There will be plenty of time for situational baseball in the coming months.
Buchholz finally ran into trouble here in the bottom of the seventh, but he worked his way out of it. Again, the 2015 Phillies aren’t exactly the ’98 Yankees, but it’s still good to see Clay executing pitches in tough spots.
PM: Totally agree. It was nice to see him pitch out of that jam, especially with a 3 pitch strikeout to end it. Like you said, it’s tough to get too excited given the subpar competition. But after a season and a half of seeing those same jams turn into 5 run innings faster than a coked up Ricky Henderson, it’s nice to see him put his pitches when he needs to.
GH: In other news, Mets-Nats is on ESPN right now. Watching Bartolo Colon pretend to hit is the highest of high comedy.
PM: Bartolo Colon is now and forever will be my spirit animal.Uh oh, now it’s time for the bullpen. I guess Tazawa is a more than serviceable first option, but after him and a breaking-down Uehara, yikes.
GH: Yeah, when Robbie Ross Jr. is an 8th inning option you probably have issues out there.
I still can’t believe that the Red Sox didn’t trade Uehara at last summer’s deadline. It’s a non-move that looks even worse now considering his injury status coming out of spring training.
Did the front office really expect a 40 year old reliever with a history of injuries would be a reliable option all season long?
If he’s healthy, I trust Uehara. But that’s a HUGE if.
GH: Hey look! Allen Craig with a single up the middle! He lives!