Game 14: Baltimore Orioles at Red Sox (April 14, 2018)

The first of three straight afternoon games for Sox was this second game of the series against the O's. I spent a relaxing day at home doing chores around the house so I had the game on the TV and mainly listened to it from the other room, popping my head around the corner every few minutes to check out the action (or when I heard the crowd cheer in excitement). I was able to watch the first five innings before heading out to take my kids to the cages to get some work in before our games and practices tomorrow. The Red Sox started Hector Velazquez again and he again turned in a solid, workmanlike performance, going five innings and striking out five while giving up two runs. The Sox bats got to Baltimore starter Alex Cobb early, tagging him for eight runs in less than four innings. There was a scary moment early in the game when Mookie hurt his foot on a slide into home...he'd eventually leave the game and was replaced by Blake Swihart. Blake swung the bat well, going 2-3, and Andrew Benintendi and JD Martinez also had good days at the plate. Hanley Ramirez came back after getting struck on the hand Thursday and had a pair of hits including a home run over the Green Monster. The rout was on and the Sox cruised to the victory 10-3.

With their 12-2 start, the Sox are off to the best start in franchise history. The scary thing when I think about it is that they're one bad inning from the bullpen and one bad inning from David Price away from being 14-0. They're playing extremely well in all three phases of the game and are more fun to watch in just these first fourteen games than they were all season each of the last two years. I hate to keep harping on it, but seeing as it's mainly the same group of players since 2016 with the only change being the manager, I have to think a huge part of it is down to Alex Cora. I have several friends who swore they wouldn't watch much of the Sox this season because of how much they disliked last year's team...I hope they change their minds and give this team a chance because the fun is most definitely back. The season is still early and while the Sox are red hot, there are always tough stretches during the long season. I don't necessarily expect them to keep up this torrid pace for the next six months. Still, I have a feeling they're going to be a much tougher out in the playoffs than they have been the previous two years.