Final: (0-1) Orioles- 2; (1-0) Red Sox- 13; WP: Eovaldi; LP: Milone
The Boston Red Sox trounced the Baltimore Orioles on Opening Day with a 13-2 victory. The pitching was strong throughout, and the lineup greatly exceed expectations.
Nathan Eovaldi: The Red Sox Opening Day starter was in complete control of the Orioles. Nasty Nate tossed 89 pitches over 6 innings, giving up one run on five hits. Both his control and velocity were positives, throwing 99 on the black consistently.
Old Faces: J.D. Martinez went 3-5 on the night with two doubles and three RBI. Jackie Bradley Jr. also had a three hit night, and Christian Vazquez added two of his own.
New Faces: Kevin Pillar, who signed a one year deal with Boston this offseason, had a three hit night with three RBI and made a great catch in right field. Second baseman Jose Peraza, who was also signed as a free agent, recorded four hits out of the nine-hole with two RBIs to go with them.
Fake Crowd Noise: While improvements can certainly be made, the crowd noise pumped into the stadium was for the most part a success. The game felt less empty, despite the lack of fans, and the added energy is an unexpected positive.
Doubles: The Red Sox set a franchise record for Opening Day doubles, with eight on the night.
It’s hard to find much wrong with this performance. Benintendi, Devers, and Chavis all were hitless, but collectively recorded four walks. Reliever Phillips Valdez had 2 HBP, but did not allow any hits or runs through two innings. Overall, Boston had an extremely solid game.
There are many candidates for this game including J.D., Eovaldi, and Peraza, but the MVP for Opening Day has to go to Kevin Pillar. Pillar set the tone early, taking extra bases away from the leadoff hitter with a lunging catch at the right field wall. In his first game in Boston, Pillar played both excellent defense and was tied with J.D. for most RBI on the team, earning himself MVP honors for game one.