Ladies and Gentleman. Welcome to Fenway Park. Those words will always mean something special.
This will be the first year that the late Carl Beane would not start as the year’s public address announcer. And you know, he would have loved this team.
The Red Sox come into the home opener in first place in the American League East. It is the first time they have come into a home opener above a .500 record since 2006. The Sox also bring the best home opener streak in baseball; they have won eight straight home openers come into today.
The team they face, though, is flying high, and not just because their mascot is a bird. Chris Davis started the season with four home runs in four games. Adam Jones has the best batting average in baseball at .538, and also has already scored nine runs in six games.
This series will be between two reborn teams, one that had success last year, and one that hopes to have success this year.
Series: vs. Baltimore Orioles (Fenway Park, Boston, MA)
Probable Starters (Career vs. Opponent)
April 8, 2:05
LHP Wei-Yin Chen (2-0, 2.50 ERA) vs. RHP Clay Buchholz (7-3, 3.64 ERA)
April 10, 7:10
RHP Jake Arrieta (0-3, 6.00 ERA) vs. RHP Ryan Dempster (1-0, 1.35 ERA)
April 11, 7:10
RHP Chris Tillman (1-1, 2.88 ERA) vs. LHP Felix Doubront (0-2, 3.13 ERA)
Stephen Drew, who will play his last rehab game today with the Portland Sea Dogs, is set to rejoin the team on Wednesday. The home crowd will finally get to see whether this Drew will be better than the last Drew experiment. José Iglesias is expected to go to AAA Pawtucket when Drew is activated from the 7-Day Disabled List, despite coming into the home opener with a .529 average, and the first game of the series might be his last game in front of the home fans for a while.
Jackie Bradley Jr. had a hot spring, but the regular season poured water on him to cool him off. He is not in the lineup for the home opener, which raises the question of what a lineup without Bradley will look like. Daniel Nava and Jonny Gomes will be in the lineup together for the first time this year after being mutually exclusive for the first six games.
Enjoy the series, and thanks for reading!