Defending world champions get crushed in season opener

By: Joe Zollo

The first game of the season for the defending world champion Boston Red Sox did not go as many had hoped. With a roster that mirrors the championship one of last season and their ace on the mound, who just signed a 5 year, $150 million extension, there were high hopes when the first pitch was thrown in Seattle to start the 2019 season.

Honestly, it did start off great. J.D Martinez singled to left and drove in Mookie Betts in the first inning, then Andrew Benintendi hit a sacrifice fly ball to drive in Eduardo Nuñez. Sox were up 2-0 heading into the bottom of the second inning. That lead did not last very long.

Tim Beckham started the scoring for Seattle with a 430-foot solo home run to left field to bring the Mariners within one. Later in that second inning, Domingo Santana doubled to right field, which scored two runs putting the Mariners ahead 3-2. 

The Boston bats would then go silent as Seattle's kept humming. The Mariners took Chris Sale for a ride, scoring seven runs, including four runs via home runs, through just three innings while Seattle's starter, Marco Gonzales, only allowed three runs through 5.1 innings. 

The Red Sox woke up in the 6th inning with two runs scored to cut the Mariners lead to just four, but it was too late at that point. The Red Sox bullpen came in and they were very unproductive. Heath Hembree walked in a run with the bases loaded and Hector Velasquez allowed the second home run of the day for Tim Beckham. 

In the end, the Red Sox fell to Seattle 12-4 but if you look at some of the major statistical categories, the Red Sox beat out Seattle in a few. The Red Sox had more strikeouts thrown and more stolen bases than Seattle and the Mariners had just one more hit than Boston. The biggest outliers? Walks issued and total bases. The Red Sox issued four walks to Seattle's one while Seattle had 31 total bases compared to Boston's 14. 

Now, there is no reason to panic Red Sox fans. Boston actually lost the season opener last year and we all know how that turned out in the end. It is a long season and the good news is Mookie Betts managed three hits in the loss. This team will come together to be the powerhouse of the American League but do not be surprised if it takes some time.