Sunday, April 14, my friend Kate and I were walking through the streets of Boston on our way to the Boston Red Sox versus Baltimore Orioles game at Fenway Park. Being that it was the day before both Patriot’s Day and the Boston Marathon, the city was nicely decorated blue and yellow awaiting the next day’s festivities.
Before the game that day, the 2018 World Series Champion Red Sox held a lame record of 5-10, losing games to the Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, Arizona Diamondbacks, and Toronto Blue Jays. Sadly, I haven’t been able to pay nearly as much attention to the Sox this season as I have in the past, but thanks to ESPN and Bleacher Report notifications, I’ve been aware of the final scores and still feel in the loop. Like many Red Sox fans, I have not been too pleased with the scores I’ve seen.
More recently, the Sox won a game against the Orioles on Friday the 12th, but then lost the next day in a game where Chris “Crush” Davis, the former, unfortunate laughingstock of the league, broke his 0-54 slump. After hearing this, I thought, “Of course. Why wouldn’t he break the streak against the Red Sox, of all teams?” Figures.
Regardless of the Red Sox’s slow start to the 2019 season, I walked into Fenway this Sunday and felt the same winning, ecstatic energy I always had. It was as though it was Opening Day all over again, even though the Sox had already played 15 games. The sun was out, the sky was blue; I couldn’t think of anything else to make the scene look anymore picturesque. It was time for baseball and I was ready to watch.
When I had found out Kate and I were going to the game, I was happy to find out we would be seeing David Price pitch against the Orioles’ pitcher John Means. An absolute tank in the 2018 Postseason, Price redefined himself as the excellent pitcher the Red Sox always knew he was. When he took the mound that day, I felt goosebumps all the way from where Kate and I were sitting in the stands.
Price’s outing was as phenomenal as I expected it to be. He recorded seven strikeouts in seven innings and allowed just three hits without a single run. Ryan Brasier pitched the eighth and recorded one strikeout, one walk, and one hit. In the absence of the previous closer, Craig Kimbrel, the Red Sox have had to rely on Matt Barnes to close out games. When he came in for the ninth, he finished the game allowing one hit with a walk and two strikeouts. Hopefully this won’t be a jinx, but Boston’s pitching was very nice the day I saw them. It was almost as though they were 10-5 as opposed to the other way around.
Seeing the Red Sox live and in-person made it seem as though they were an entirely different team than the one I’d been reading about for weeks before. Unfortunately, this happened to be the same game Andrew Benintendi fouled a ball of his foot and suffered a food contusion, though Xander Bogaerts hit a solo home run to straight-away center. Like every game, this one had its good points and its bad. Luckily, for the game I got to attend, there seemed to be more highs than lows. The Red Sox beat the Orioles 4-0.
Boston currently has a record of 6-12, which happens to put them in last place in the American League East Division. Though things aren’t looking too hot right now, I’ve seen the Red Sox play, I know what they’re capable of, and I know they’ll turn it around. It’s only a matter of time.
Today, the Red Sox designated their young utility player, Blake Swihart, to assignment and called up Catcher Sandy Leon from Triple-A. This move shocked me, however, if the people in charge think this will get the team out of its slump, then so be it. I’m sad to see Swihart go, but I’m also happy to see Leon back on the roster. I don’t think it will be long before we see Swihart wearing another uniform.
The Red Sox may be struggling now (I’m not even going to mention Chris Sale. He’s worth another article entirely) but I’m not losing hope. It’s too early in the season to be throwing in the towel. If there’s anything I’ve learned from being a Jacksonville Jaguars fan, it’s that being a fan takes dedication and patience. I think I’m just so used to the Red Sox winning, that when they lose, I’m confused. Coming off last season, the Red Sox just had to get some loses out of the way after not having any for a while. Perks of being World Series Champs.