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The Red Sox Continue To Handle Their Business By Beating Up On Trash Teams To Start The Year

Boston Red Sox v Miami Marlins

The Red Sox won again. That’s great. They’ve won four straight. Also pretty cool. But to everyone who’s whining that they’ve yet to play a good team — those people may be right, but the Red Sox don’t make the schedule. Boston has kicked off their 2018 season with six games against shitty baseball teams from Florida, they’ve won four of the five that they’ve played, and should be 5-0. That’s called handling your business.

Last night in Miami, Brian Johnson made his first start of the season. Had Eduardo Rodriguez and Drew Pomeranz been healthy enough to start the year in the rotation, Johnson was set to begin the season in the bullpen, as he was out of options but behind the pair of aforementioned lefties on the depth chart. The thing about BJ is that he makes the most of the opportunities that he’s given, like last year when he threw a complete game shutout against the Mariners in a spot start in May.

Johnson continued the trend of very good starting pitching, completing Boston’s first time through the rotation by throwing six innings of one-run ball with six strikeouts, six hits and a couple walks. He doesn’t have a whole lot of velocity to work with (88-90 MPH), so location is always key for him. Johnson spotted his fastball very well and the breaking ball was sharp. The first time through the rotation, all five Red Sox starters have pitched at least into the sixth inning, allowing just three earned runs in 30 innings with 28 strikeouts. That’s a 0.90 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP. Haters will say bad competition.

In their four-game series at the Trop against the Rays, Xander Bogaerts set the world on fire, but the rest of the team hit .214 with a .640 OPS. Red Sox fans were starting to get PTSD, watching an offense that had no problem getting runners on base but simply could not drive them in or hit the ball over the fence. Here’s to hoping that the series opener in Miami is more of a microcosm of this season than the Tampa series, because the Red Sox broke out for seven runs on 12 hits on Monday.

Leading the charge was Hanley Ramirez, who launched his first home run of the season to drive in a couple runs. Mookie Betts also tagged his first long ball of the year. What was nice to see was that they did some big time two-out damage. Eduardo Nunez, Christian Vazquez (2) and Rafael Devers all drove in runs with two outs. Bogaerts stayed hot with two more hits, Vazquez had a couple hits, Devers had a couple hits, Mookie had a couple hits, Hanley had a couple hits, and Andrew Benintendi finally got a hit, albeit an infield single. Oh, and Hanley stole a base!

Pretty cool moment here, too — Hanley promised this kid his jersey if he hit a home run.

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Don’t let the schedule snobs kill your buzz. The Red Sox are off to a great start, whether that’s against poor teams or not, you still have to play the games. Let’s not act like there are teams out there who only have to play projected division winners. It all evens out in the end.

Final score: Red Sox 7, Marlins 3