The Boston Red Sox get a day off to lick their wounds after being soundly whipped by the Texas Rangers in the opening weekend of the 2011 season. The Sox were outscored 26-11, and the Rangers teed off for 11 home runs in the three game series. Ian Kinsler and Nelson Cruz became the first pair of teammates in major league history to each homer in the first three games of the season.
Pretty astounding stuff, especially considering that the Rangers teed off against two of the best pitchers in the American League last season, John Lester and Clay Buchholz.
While Buchholz went 6 1/3 innings in yesterday’s 5-1 loss, giving up only five hits, four of the five hits were solo home runs. David Murphy, Kinsler, Mike Napoli and Cruz all connected against Buchholz, who only gave up nine home runs all of last season.
So, is this weekend’s whitewash reason to panic? The Red Sox haven’t started a season 0-3 since 1996, so should Red Sox Nation be waving red flags?
The Texas Rangers aren’t the American League champs without reason. This team can simply hit, and hit well. Yes, Sox pitchers left balls over the plate, and the Rangers know what to do with mistake pitches. However, starting on the road in Texas was definitely not the easiest draw in the world.
Three games does not a season make, and Josh Beckett will have the chance to right his own ship and that of his team on Tuesday against the Cleveland Indians.
If the Sox are well under .500 by the end of April, then yes, fans can start jumping from the Zakim bridge. But at least let us pragmatists talk you down first.
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