As the Red Sox were kicking off their nine game road trip, there was a lot of hype going into last night’s game against the Angels. Shohei Ohtani, the two-way phenom from Japan, was supposed to pitch on Sunday in Kansas City, but bad weather postponed that game, and his start got moved back to Tuesday. It also just so happens that the starter for the Red Sox, David Price, had his start moved back as well. So, there we had it. David Price facing off against Shohei Ohtani in a matchup between the two best teams in the American League at this point in the season.
Luckily for us, David Price held up his end of the bargain last night, unlike Ohtani. The left hander put together a solid five inning performance, allowing just one run on three hits while walking four and striking out six. Those four walks are less than ideal, but only one was costly. That being a leadoff walk to Angels catcher Martin Maldonado in the third inning, who would later score from third on an Albert Pujols RBI single. Other than that, Price and the Red Sox bullpen were nearly perfect as a whole.
The native of Tennessee finished the night with 78 pitches, 49 of which went for strikes. It has not been announced yet, but I’m assuming he will be making his next start in Oakland on Sunday.
Once Price left after the fifth, Brian Johnson got the call for the bottom half of the sixth inning. Johnson, who was supposed to start Monday against the Orioles, provided three innings of quality work. Over that span, the Angels reached base four times, once on a fielding error, and struck out three times. I would think Johnson could have gone one more inning at 43 pitches, but it was Marcus Walden who closed this thing out in the ninth. He retired the side with nine pitches, thus giving his team the series opening win on the road.
Offensively, the Red Sox lineup put on a Sho. They scored ten times, hit six home runs, and chased Shohei Ohtani from the game after just two innings with the help of a blister on his throwing hand.
Ohtani has received plenty of hype from his two starts this season, but those were both against the Oakland Athletics. Last night, Mookie Betts introduced himself by blasting a solo home run in the first at bat of the game.
That would not be the only damage Betts did, as he would go on to homer two more times and finish the game without recording a single out. More on that later, for now, let’s get to the second inning.
A Brock Holt RBI single and an Andrew Benintendi sac fly put the Red Sox up by three early, and that would spell the end for Shohei Ohtani’s night since his pitch count was already up at 66 by the time he got out of the second. The very next inning is when things really got out of hand.
After Angels reliever Luke Bard, brother of Daniel, got the first two outs of the inning while giving up a single to JD Martinez, it was the surging Jackie Bradley Jr. who got the three home runs fun started. With the count at 2-1, Bradley tattooed an 84 MPH slider 440 feet into the center field bleachers for his first long ball of the season.
After a Christian Vazquez walk, Brock Holt decided he wanted to hit his first home run as well. He made it a 7-1 game by driving a 3-2 fastball over the wall in center field.
Back to the top of the lineup, Mookie Betts mashed his second of three on the night by taking another slider and catapulting it over the left field wall again. 8-1.
A Rafael Devers solo blast in the next inning put the Red Sox up by eight, and that would be all the scoring they would do until the eighth. Can you guess who scored the tenth and final run of the night?
If you guessed Mookie Betts, you would be correct! The Red Sox leadoff hitter capped off his big night by going yard for the third time. At just 25 years old, Betts has already accomplished that feat THREE times in his young career. The only other player in Red Sox history who has done that is none other than Ted Williams.
If all this information was a bit too much to handle, here are a couple of videos recapping all the action:
At 14-2, this Red Sox team is one of the most exciting in all of baseball. They can score runs in bunches, hang with the best pitching staffs in the game, and have the ability to never be out of a game they are losing.
Rick Porcello will look to build on a successful Game One, as he gets the start against Halos lefty Tyler Skaggs later tonight. First pitch is at 10:07 PM ET. Hope you can stay up for it.