Game 1 – Shohei Ohtani vs. David Price
This game had a lot of hype going into it. MLB Network was broadcasting this game, and many in Japan were watching, for baseball’s new phenom was pitching for the Halos. Shohei Ohtani, before this game had pitched two games, both being against the Athletics. He had a 2.08 ERA in 13 innings pitched in those two starts. The latter of the two starts, Ohtani had a perfect game through 6 ⅓ innings. Furthermore, if you add in the three home runs and the .367 batting average, that is a recipe for national attention.
Courtesy: USA Today
This game didn’t go so well…. for Ohtani. The Japanese Babe Ruth pitched two innings, while giving up three earned runs on four hits. Apparently, Ohtani had a blister, and in addition to the terrible pitch count after two innings (66 pitches), that is why he didn’t pitch long.
It was a different story for David Price. After pitching one inning and giving up four earned runs on three hits, Price looked for redemption in the better weather. He was typical David Price, as he pitched five innings, giving up only one earned run on three hits. He could’ve gone longer, but with Alex Cora’s approach to keeping starters fresh, he pulled Price after 78 pitches. Also, the bullpen looked great, with Brian Johnson going three strong innings and Marcus Walden pitching the 9th.
Certainly, the story of this game was offense. The Red Sox scored ten runs in the game on six home runs. These home runs came from Brock Holt, Jackie Bradley Jr., and Rafael Devers. But the star of this game was Mookie Betts. Betts hit three home runs in this game, one of them coming off Shohei Ohtani in the first at-bat of the game, further lengthening his record of 12 leadoff home runs (at the time). Mookie also tied Ted Williams’ franchise record of three career 3-home run games.
Final Score – Red Sox 10 Angels 1
Game 2 – Tyler Skaggs vs. Rick Porcello
This game had nowhere near the hype that game one did, but this was an important game nevertheless. If the Red Sox won the game, they would remain among the few teams to not lose a series yet this season. The Angels wanted to win this game in order to give them a chance to win the series the next day. Tyler Skaggs had gotten off to a good start this season before this series, having three starts, with a 1.69 ERA through 16 innings of work. Rick Porcello was having the best start of his career through three starts. He was 3-0 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 ⅔ innings.
Porcello continued his amazing start of the year, pitching six innings, and gave up zero earned runs. Tyler Skaggs couldn’t say the same, as he pitched 4 ⅓ innings, giving up six earned runs on eight hits. The Red Sox bullpen continued their great work, with Carson Smith, Marcus Walden, and Craig Kimbrel all pitching scoreless innings. The Red Sox continued their hot offensive streak, scoring nine runs total. Two hitters accounted for eight of the runs, as Rafael Devers hit his first career grand slam, and Mitch Moreland, my player of the game, also had RBIs. Two of the RBIs were on base hits in the first and third innings, and the other two were on a 2-run homer in the ninth inning. JD Martinez also hit a homer in the seventh inning.
Final Score – Red Sox 9 Angels 0
Game 3 – Nick Tropeano vs. Eduardo Rodriguez
This pitching matchup had no excitement around it, as Nick Tropeano isn’t quite a household name, and Eduardo Rodriguez is at most the fourth-best starter in the Red Sox rotation. Rodriguez had come off a great start against his former team, the Orioles, where he pitched six innings, giving up one earned run on five hits. Tropeano’s first start of the year was against the Royals, where he pitched 6 ⅔ innings of shutout ball.
Eduardo Rodriguez had a good start in this one, working six innings, giving up only two earned runs. On the other side of things, Nick Tropeano was probably the best starter for the Angels this series, but this doesn’t mean much. Tropeano pitched 5 ⅓ innings, and gave up four earned runs on seven hits.
The Red Sox offense continued their hot streak in this one. Remember that leadoff home run record Mookie Betts added to in Game 1 off of Shohei Ohtani? Well, he did it AGAIN. Make that 13 career leadoff home runs. Mookie Betts is off to a ridiculous start, and should be a serious MVP candidate this season. Then, Andrew Benintendi finally got his first home run of the year. On top of that, he had a two-RBI knock in the ninth inning. JD Martinez had a RBI, Mitch Moreland had a RBI flyout, and Rafael Devers had two RBIs.
Final Score – Red Sox 8 Angels 2
Cover image courtesy of Jae C. Hong, AP