So as not to detract from SF's wonderful picture show in the post immediately following, the rest of this will be after the jump.
Things to take away from, remember or otherwise relish from last night's Opening "Day" win:
- The three new guys in the Sox' lineup: 5 for 9, two runs, three RBI, on base seven times in 12 plate appearances (.583 on-base percentage).
- Kevin Youkilis would like to remind everyone that he is still an elite hitter. He was in 2008, when he was third in slugging and fourth in OPS. He was in 2009, when he was fifth in slugging and second in OPS. And time will ultimately tell, but there's no reason to believe he won't be an elite hitter in 2010.
- So a lot of snarkiness about "run prevention" not being all it's cracked up to be, and it is fantastic that after all the overemphasis on the Sox' pitching-and-defense approach and whether they'd have the offense, that the first game would be all about the bats. Still one wonders if Mike Lowell gets to the ground ball Adrian Beltre fielded so easily to end the game. If the Sox have last year's defense, I'm not sure this game doesn't have a different outcome.
- Josh Beckett may have a seemingly ugly 9.64 ERA, but it's all about context: The league average is 15.00 7.94, giving him a dandy 117 ERA+ somewhat respectable 90 ERA+. (I had to do the math myself before B-R updated this morning, and erred by counting the game as nine innings instead of 17 individual pitcher innings).
- Good to see Scott Schoeneweis with a solid debut. After the year-plus he's been through, he deserves some good times this season.
Things to dislike:
- The one worry spot, if you can have any after one game: Ramon Ramirez — who posted a 4.86 ERA in his final 17 appearances of 2009, had a terrible spring and was awful in his first appearance of 2010. It's too soon to worry about Ellsbury and Ortiz putting up 0-fers against a pitcher like Sabathia, and I'll need another couple starts sans curveball to start worrying about Beckett.
- ESPN's SportsCenter Highlight of the Night features more time devoted to anchor bloviating and LeBron James' pregame prediction than to actual highlights of the game. #espnmoreofthesame
- The teams may be happy for a day off after a shocking marathon baseball game between the Yankees and Red Sox, but I'm not; I doubt any of us are.