The Boston Red Sox made the optimistic trip to Citizens Bank Park earlier today for the opening day of the new MLB season. A trip which would see them leave even happier. The Red Sox humiliated a struggling Phillies side as they were shut out 8-0 in front of a sellout crowd.
Five of those runs were homers, four of which came off experienced pitcher Cole Hamels. Hamels had allowed 14 home runs in 30 starts in the previous season but allowed four solo shots before the Red Sox shut him out of the game in the fifth inning. He didn’t pitch badly by any stretch of the imagination, only allowing five hits on the day. But the Red Sox punished his erratic style and any errors that were made.
The only real hitting positive was Ryan Howard finding some wide open spaces in the fourth inning, launching a double into the left-center area. The Phillies would not get another hit until the seventh inning.
Shane Victorino made a brilliant catch for Boston in the fifth inning. The former Phillies outfielder was received gracefully by the fans and rewarded them with a fine display. Sprinting into the right-field wall to make the athletic catch, he was also valuable when it came to stealing bases. Dustin Pedroia. Pedroia homered twice and made one of the most acrobatic plays of the game..simply put, the Phils were played out of the park tonight.
After fifteen shutouts last year and a rollercoaster of spring training, most fans were anticipating the worst..and unfortunately they were right as they had just one hit through six innings.
This is the eighth time the Phils have been shut out in the season opener but this carried the largest margin of defeat. As fans brace themselves for the worst they can relax for a few days as they next face Boston on Wednesday. The team have time to recover, study the footage and find out what went wrong before facing the elitists for the second game of the three game series in a few days time.