Red Sox Rally for First Win of 2019; Matt Barnes Gets the Save
Boston, MA– After Chris Sale got thumped and the offense went very quiet after the second inning, the Boston Red Sox may have felt that the 2019 season was not quite starting off the way they'd hoped.
It seemed like their early season woes would be continuing into the second game against the Seattle Mariners, because by the end of the fourth inning, starter Nathan Eovaldi had been lit up for six runs scored by the Mariners and Seattle had jumped out to a 6-1 lead. (Boston's sole run at the time came courtesy of a home run by Xander Bogaerts.)
Slowly but surely, however, the Red Sox showed that they still have the same never-say-die attitude that defined them in 2018. In the fifth inning, Jackie Bradley, Jr. scored Rafael Devers on a fielder's choice groundout, showing that Boston is still willing to play small ball. In the sixth inning, J.D. Martinez smashed his first home run of the season by the count of a 428 foot moonshot, showing that Boston does not mind relying on power either. In the eighth inning, Christian Vazquez recorded his fourth home run in the past two seasons to make the score 6-4. And in the top of the ninth inning, with Bradley, Jr. and Blake Swihart on base, Mitch Moreland stepped in as a pinch hitter and cranked a home run to right field to give Boston a 7-6 lead that they would never relinquish.
Pitcher Brian Johnson ended up recording the win for the Red Sox, but the most interesting bullpen storyline came when Matt Barnes assumed the role of the closer and slammed the door on Seattle for the save. Whether Barnes will remain the closer still is yet to be determined, but he was certainly impressive last night. And so was Boston as a whole, as the team did not roll over and succumb to Seattle's big five-run lead. As a result, the 2018 World Series champions now have their first win of 2019!
Image via Flickr / Keith Allison