New England Sports React

Sox Splitters to Start Season

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Dustin Pedroia and the Sox have had a frustrating start to the 2014 season.

So, what do we think of the 2014 version of our Boston Red Sox so far?

With many familiar faces lining the first baseline for the team’s home opener at Fenway Park yesterday, having just received their 2013 World Series rings, one couldn’t help but wonder: is this a team built to repeat as champions? On paper, it’s hard to argue that point. The Sox starting rotation is sound, with a dominant number one in Lester, a very good number two in Lackey, a solid three in Doubront, the sporadic-but-decent Peavy at four, and the extremely talented yet extremely fragile Buchholz tucked away as the number five. Their lineup, no matter how arranged or who occupies it, seems without holes. Their bullpen, on the other hand, is a different story. Last year, finding closure (no pun intended) at the back end of the Sox pen was no easy task, with the team relying on the fourth pitcher on the depth chart, Koji Uehara, to get the job done. The rest is history, but the fact remains that, at 39, a similar performance can’t be expected from Uehara. His run of dominance last season was legendary, and to think he can manage to replicate that again at his age is simply unrealistic. He needs (italicize) someone else to pick him up, be his back-up option. But who? So far, we’ve found out the newly-acquired Edward Mujica isn’t the best choice, given his abysmal outing yesterday during which he was lit up for four runs in the ninth by the Brewers in what was, at the time, a 2-2 game. Hopefully, the Sox can find another guy because Mujica doesn’t seem to be the right fit.

But besides the negative, let’s focus on the positives. The team is hitting pretty well, with Ortiz and Napoli both having recorded their first homers the other night and Xander Bogaerts notching his first three-hit game in the big leagues. Surprise Spring Training standout Grady Sizemore went deep on Opening Day and reached base three times in the Sox home opener, showing that even after a couple years out of the big leagues he’s still got it. It’s still early, of course, but four games in (2-2) we’re starting to slowly uncover this treasure chest of a ball club. Hopefully it’s interior is, like last year, filled with the riches of a championship trophy.

-Ryan Hartley

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