Back In The U.S. Back In The U.S. Back In The U.S. of A.
Like a time machine morphing eastward, the Boston Red Sox jetted into Los Angeles and landed in the early evening. Because of the time difference, while adding an hour on the clock with each passing thousand miles or so, the Sox gained half a day. I have a few things to say about the two games from the Dome of Tokyo, but first here are a few comments from the Sox owners and players about their trip home. This is from the Boston Globe, with my thanks. The entire article will be linked when you click on the title...
"This trip was the best and the worst," said owner John Henry as he waited for baggage. Henry was one of the few who didn't sleep on the 12-hour flight from Tokyo to Los Angeles.
"I'm looking forward to having my first hamburger," added team chairman Tom Werner.
"There's still 10 minutes to get a bet down on last night's game," added a member of the traveling party who shall remain nameless." (HaHa! Great line!)
Peter here, and that WAS funny! A few of the things that bother me after watching all 19 innings of the first two games concern our pitching. Daisuke Matsuzaka and Jon Lester seemed to begin this 2008 season much the same as last year...too many pitches out of the strike zone and too few innings pitched. Jon Lester lasted four innings, threw 83 pitches in those few frames, and gave up 3 walks and 4 runs. That's NOT GOOD for a number three starter. Daisuke also faltered early, but his outing was at least respectable. Lester's was not. I KNOW it's early, it ain't even April yet, but if Lester's trend continues, and he did this many times last year, he might well be the worst number three starter in all of baseball. But that was only ONE start, with jet lag added in to boot. Until the rotation, in it's 4 man (for now) entirety, has a couple turns on the mound, if not three, I will reserve judgement.
As for the bullpen, naturally the guys we will count on again and again are still rusty. Paps was shaky, but we know he will rise and shine, as will Okie. We have to hope two others make their presence known with solidity. They are Delcarmen and Aadasma, who I will call Double A. He might be that needed sparkling surprise from a bullpen that is too thin to take us far. Again, these are just initial reflections.
Defensively, we are just fine. And we will be at the plate, too. Manny is already white hot, and that heat will hopefully spread throughout the lineup. So it's not time for panic of any kind. We're 1-1, we went through a grueling trip, travel-wise, but looking on the bright side, the Japanese people of Red Sox International could not have been better hosts. And I thank them! The next regular season game will be Tuesday April 1st at the reasonable (?) hour of 10pm edt. Please don't forget to click on the title of this post for the entire Boston Globe article about our team's ride home, a smooth and uncomplicated one. Thank you for stopping in, and as always, BE WELL.