It's here! The season is Here! Checking in with the BoSox
MIddlebrooks is up. He's hit the ball hard a couple of times, but hasn't done any damage. Tommy Hunter on to finish it off. Whoa! Beans Middlebrooks. High and Tight.
Nava back on the Left against Hunter. He's due. 2-1. Should get a fastball strike here. He does, but pops it up.
Pedroia up. He's no stranger to either openning day heroics or late inning heroics. He's 0-2 and late on everything. Checked Swing; close. Too close! He lines a base hit!
Ortiz up. Oh boy! Ortiz at the plate. The crowd at Camden Yards quiets noticeably. They know this game could go the wrong way fast now. Ortiz ends up 0-2 on an inside fastball. Watch it Hunter. Don't throw that again. Next pitch is up, and Ortiz gives it a ride, but not enough - Middlebrooks has to hold at 2nd.
Jackie Bradly Jr. comes in to hit for Napoli. He looks at two inside strikes and fouls off a third. I wonder if Napoli is hurt.
Find out tomorrow I guess. Hunter nibbles; so dumb with a rookie on the ropes. Just go get him! He finally does, throwing a strike down the middle, and JBJ goes down looking; game over.
Ah well, 161 to go.
Evan Meek against Napoli. Time running out for the Sox, but with the O's bullpen, it ain't over.
Napoli decided to keep the beard. Now, it's far more distinctive. full count. Gotta love the stories of Napoli shirtless and s***faced in downtown Boston. He walks.
Carp has a well-placed infield hit, but he's out anyway. Napoli advances. We'll probably see some regression to the mean for Carp this year. Sizemore up. He's not a power hitter, so two home runs today is probably not in the cards.
He's out. Boegarts has another nice AB and walks, but AJP can't get it done, and we go to the bottom of the 8th. Too mnay men left on base today for the BoSox.
Tazawa in. He gets his three outs and it's the last three outs for the Sox.
Nava switches sides aginst the left throwing Britton to start the inning and is out 5-3.
Pedroia follows and is out 1-3.
Britton is carefully pitching around Ortiz. Gets a ground ball to first,
And there's cruz hitting a Homer. Told you to be careful with him Lester!
Bullpen is warming for the Sox, Weiters swings his way back to the bench.
Delmon Young just not haveing a good day. Neither is Flaherty. 8 K's for Lester, but he trails 2-1
Zack Britton pitching. Sizemore hitting. Lefty/Lefty. Sizemore reportly has struggled against lefties so far. I'll never understand why more teams weren't calling Sizemore. 6-3, out. He was a worthy gamble for any club.
Boegarts gets a pitch away and takes it to right, stand up double and looks good doing it.
Britton gets another lefty with AJP up. He doesn't help himself, going 0-2. Funny infield hit has him out at first, but Xander advances.
Middlebrooks hits it hard, but it's handled at third, 5-3 and they're done.
Almost back to live.
Lester gets Markakis looking.
Jones gets on, but Lester is dealing. Lester gets Davis too. EOI.
Pedroia looks at a 12-6 curve that Tillman has featured all day. Pitching backwards to the Sox, and confident he can throw that pitch for strikes. Defensive swing leaves it 1-2. Pedroia - one of the best bad ball hitters out there - has already swung at his share today; at least 4 or 5 outside the zone. Nearly hit one for a double there. 2-2. Must be a seven pitch at bat already.
STraight away to center, but not enough, one out.
Ortiz up. Another deep hit, but not enough. 2 away. Bullpen up for the O's, and it's the first game of the year - starters won't go deep into this one.
Napoli up. He's had good AB's today. Walk. Tillmans first.
Carp looks at a strike that is so high, it looked like it was around his neck. Followed up with a down and away pitch he swings through. Ug. Another big spot for Carp. Still alive at 0-2, but Carp doesn't look in control of this AB. Tillman over 100 pitches. Weakly hit to third, no dice.
Napoli with a nice play to get Young out 6-3. Need a better throw there Middlebrooks!
Lester is at only 67 pitches, and is looking tought to beat. Flaherty again is no match.
Schoop (now that's a baseball name) is quickly 0-2 and was lucky he didn't get rung up on a checked swing. Doesn't help him though, he's down on strikes.
Little behind; baby break meant we had to go to DVR mode.
Sizemore cracks a home run to lead off the inning. The way he hit in Spring training, not a shock, but still, so good to see. Has to feel amazing for him. Will he fade down the strech? Hell, will he make it to the stretch? Who knows. He'll add some pop to April though.
Boegarts with the can of corn.
A.J. muscles a single over the infield.
Middlebrooks gets 2 balls this time. Trying to get him to chase, Tillman? Well next was a high fastball, and it lands harmlessly in an Orioles glove.
Nava up. Lines to left, but a good looking at bat by Nava. Tillman isn't fooling him. 1-1 going to the bottom of the fourth.
Jones gets the birds 4th hit on the first pitch; clearly looking for a fast ball.
Davis up - probably the orioles best hitter. Lester does a GREAT job getting him to hit a low and away pitch to start a double play, but it takes too long to turn and the runner is safe.
Cruz back up. Gotta be a little careful here.... Nice; Lester throws a rare changeup, and Cruz is way out in front. 1-2. Popped up to Pedroia.
Weiters up, and it'll either be a HR or an out. Two-out muscle from the backstop. Quickly 0-2, on a nasty cutter. Looks at strike 3.
Tillman starts off the inning showing why he's the #1 starter for the birds. Not much doing for the Sox, and Tillman should have bbeen out of the inning except Ortiz knocks a pretty good pitch through the shift for a single.
Tillman tries to get too cute with Napoli, and the Sox have a two out chance. Carp had some good at-bats last year, but not as many with RISP. He's down 0-2 quick. Strike 3.
This live blogging is kinda fun! I should do it more often. I have lots of time, after all (yeah, right...)
Lester gets out of a 3-0 hole to Markakis with a pop-up. JJ Hardy obliges with a 5-4-3 DP.
Sizemore immediately makes his prescense felt by knocking a solid single.
As I watch the much hyped Boegarts, I should note that I am multi-tasking, wathcing my baby daughter today as I am unexpectedly at home as we had a scheduling conflict. On the plus side, get to see the game! And not on tape!
Darn it! Boegarts hits it 362 where the wall is 364. Good looking swing, and in July that's 3 runs for the sox.
Long fly for Pierzynski.
Another big at bat. C'mon Will!
His new patience results in looking at a pith right down the plate. Swings through a 95 mph fastball. Looks at strike 3. YIkes.
Gotta like Cruz. Not a complete hitter, but right handed power is always good. Draws a well earned walk.
Weiters is up. Much like Lavarnway, hasn't put it together offensively. His numbers last year are not what the Orioles want. He can thump, but can he hit? Gotta do better than sub .240 on the average. Muscled a bloop hit to left.
Delmon Young. You can kinda smell a double play. Oh! There it is. Not pretty, but we'll take the outs over the run. 1-0 birds.
Flaherty. Should be the end of the inning....... And it is. Lefty/lefty not his matchup.
While we muddle through the first couple of innings, let's check in on my lineup prediction.
Naturally, Victorino gets hurt and is sitting out, and Sizemore stole the show, leaving JBJ down in Pawtucket.
Vs a right hander I had
Lineup ended up being:
So, not close, but I had some trends right. The newer players are all at the bottom, being protected. I did have Boegarts hitting ahead of Middlebrooks, and Sizemore won't stay sixth, if healthy, that's making the best out of a bad situation. Pierzynski is lower than I figured for sure, but when you're adding a quality bat like Sizemore, everyone is going to move down.
Mike Carp just put the second hit for the Sox on the board.