Photo Credit: The Sun Journal
The Red Sox opened their 2018 season at Tropicana Field facing the Tampa Bay Rays. Each team had their two aces starting the first game of the season, Chris Sale and Chris Archer. Everything pointed to a potential pitchers duel, but that isn’t necessarily what we got. Chris Sale was good as always, but Chris Archer was “okay.”
Chris Sale: 6 innings, 0 earned runs, 3 walks, and 9 strikeouts.
Chris Archer: 6 innings, 4 earned runs, 1 walk, and 6 strikeouts.
The Red Sox offense looked pretty good, which was expected. Mookie Betts and Rafael Devers each had a hit. Xander Bogaerts had three hits, including two doubles. Eduardo Núñez had two hits including a 2-run inside the park home run.
With Red Sox offense rolling, they had a nice 4-run lead heading into the eighth, after 6 solid innings from Chris Sale and a clean inning of work for Matt Barnes. It all looked nice from there…but shocker, there was trouble. Joe Kelly started the eighth inning facing five batters, walking three of them, and allowing an RBI double to Matt Duffy. Typical Joe Kelly. I mean he has his clean innings, but he also has some innings where you can tell he absolutely has no idea where that straight fastball is going. In the end, Kelly simply just didn’t have it on Opening Day.
Nonetheless, Carson Smith came in with the bases loaded to try to save Joe Kelly’s nightmare of an inning. Smith did just the opposite. He walked the first batter he faced, then bounced back to strikeout Wilson Ramos. Bases loaded, two outs.
Just when you thought Carson Smith was about to get out of it, he allowed a three-run triple to Denard Span and it didn’t stop there. Adeiny Hechavarria followed with an RBI infield single to allow Span to come across the plate and make the score 6-4. Yikes.
Not ideal for the Sox bullpen. What seemed like an opening day victory on the horizon, it all had to be crushed when Joe Kelly and Carson came in walking the TAMPA BAY RAYS, who looked completely lost at the plate for seven innings. I mean it’s not like you’re facing the Astros or Yankees lineup. Throw strikes, it’s the Rays. A 6-run inning to give the Sox a loss is exactly what happens when you’re walking batters left and right, did they expect anything different?
David Price will take the mound tomorrow in hopes of turning things around and erasing that bad loss. He will be matched up against Blake Snell. The game will be at 7:10 ET, the Red Sox will be looking to move to 1-1 to start the young 2018 Baseball season.
Final Score: Rays 6, Red Sox 4.