|04.14.15 at 2:32 pm ET|
Last season Strasburg finished with slightly reverse splits, with lefties hitting .234 and right-handed hitters coming in at .254.
Here is the Red Sox’ lineup against the Nationals with Justin Masterson on the mound for the hosts:
|04.14.15 at 10:48 am ET|
After diving for a ball and leaving Saturday’s game while playing for Triple-A Pawtucket, Castillo returned to Boston on Monday to be examined further. The exam determined he needs “rest and rehab.”
“With Rusney, he made a diving play a couple a nights ago with Pawtucket and jarred the right shoulder,” Farrell said. “He has some inflammation in the right shoulder. The MRI has revealed no structural issues. It’s going to be a little bit of time with rest and rehab. What length of time remains to be seen. That is not to suggest this is long-term thing — he’s going to need a little time to get back to 100 percent.”
Castillo didn’t make the 25-man Opening Day roster as the Red Sox currently have Hanley Ramirez, Mookie Betts, Shane Victorino, Daniel Nava and Allen Craig in their outfield. Castillo was 5-for-12 in the three games he’s played so far this season with Pawtucket.
A team source earlier in the day said the prognosis is good. It is not expected to be a lingering problem.
Alex Speier of the Boston Globe was first to report the news of Castillo expected to go on the DL.
This isn’t the first injury Castillo has dealt with in his short time in Boston. He has sustained injuries to his thumb, oblique, and now shoulder.
“He’s an aggressive player,” Farrell said. “We see the movements. It’s an explosive type of player. I can’t speak to his body type and does that pre-dispose him to a greater injury of risk or risk of injury? He went and dove for a ball and unfortunately he’s got to take some time down right now.”
Ryan Hannable contributed to this report.
|04.14.15 at 8:41 am ET|
In his first outing, Masterson beat the Phillies and gave Boston its third quality start in a row to start 2015. The 30-year-old threw 95 pitches in six innings and only gave up three hits and two walks while striking out seven. He allowed two runs on a wild pitch and an RBI single by Chase Utley in the third inning, but the Red Sox offense already had scored six runs by that point (Masterson himself contributed two hits and an RBI in the game). He was able to get out of the third without allowing further damage.
“I don’t even know what the strikeout totals were, but just being able to see that slider, being able to mix that slider in for strikes, is a really good equalizer for me,” Masterson said after the game. “That really helped out, being able to mix in some sinkers, change that speed a little on those guys and have a little bit of command, it’s just good. It was tough for them.”
Masterson’s outing in Philadelphia extended a stretch of solid pitching that started during spring training, when he went 3-1 with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
Masterson has made two career appearances and one career start against Washington. The start, which came in 2013, was a seven-inning, one-run gem for Masterson, who struck out 10 Nationals.
|04.13.15 at 10:52 pm ET|
Monday was Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon’s first start on Opening Day, overall or at home. It was made even more special as Leon got to go up against the team that traded him away just a few weeks ago.
Following Christian Vazquez’s elbow injury, the Red Sox needed a catcher and were able to work out a deal with the Nationals for Leon. Leon made the Red Sox‘ Opening Day roster, and then after seeing Fenway Park for the first time ever Monday morning started against his former team later in the afternoon.
Leon played a big part in the Red Sox’ 9-4 win over the Nationals by going 3-for-4. It was his first three-hit game of his career.
“It was amazing,” said Leon. “I feel amazing. At Fenway Park, [the Red Sox] gave me the opportunity to play today and I am going to do whatever I can to [help the team win].”
The 26-year-old catcher also called a great game behind the plate for Rick Porcello, as he went eight innings allowing three earned runs to pick up the win. Porcello gave a lot of credit to Leon.
“He was tremendous,” said Porcello. “I’ve never thrown to him before except for today. For him to call the game that he did and do the job that he did back there says a lot about how he was prepared. He was easy to work with, he was really good.”
His performance behind the plate also got his manager’s attention.
“What’s most impressive is how quiet he receives balls in the dirt, and there were several over the course of the game that he had to block,” manager John Farrell said.
In three years with Washington, Leon played in 34 games and hit just .189.
Coming over to the Red Sox, Leon will now have a much bigger role, sharing the catching duties with Ryan Hanigan.
|04.13.15 at 9:47 pm ET|
In the eighth inning left fielder Hanley Ramirez fouled a ball off his right foot. After they saw him hobbling around manager John Farrell and the trainer went out to check on him. He stayed in the game and eventually worked a walk, but was in noticeable discomfort getting down to first base. He was removed for a pinch-runner, Daniel Nava.
Even though he left the game everything is expected to be fine.
“I’ll be back in there tomorrow,” Ramirez said. “Just fouled it on top of my toe. But we took an X-ray and everything is good.”
Ramirez went 0-for-2 with two walks and was hit by a pitch in the Red Sox’ 9-4 win.
For more Red Sox news, visit weei.com/redsox.
|04.13.15 at 8:13 pm ET|
That was the task Rick Porcello faced Monday afternoon, but he didn’t bat an eye as he helped lead the Red Sox to a 9-4 win over the Nationals.
“I obviously wanted to go out there and put up a good start,” Porcello said. “The guys swung the bats great and really I didn’t have to do a whole lot but throw strikes and keep the ball down. Definitely had some butterflies early on, I was pretty excited, but it was a lot fun.”
Given a 3-0 lead after two innings and a 8-0 lead after three innings, the pressure was off Porcello, but he didn’t even need all that support as he went eight strong innings allowing four runs (three earned) on nine hits while walking one and striking out six.
He did allow two home runs, a solo shot to Ryan Zimmerman in the fifth and Danny Espinosa in the eighth.
Even with the strong start he still feels like he can get better.
“I feel good. I think I’ve got some room for improvement in consistency,” he said. “Hit a little hiccup in the fifth but I feel good.”
Porcello was born in Morristown, New Jersey and has a family vacation home in Southern Vermont, so he knows the history of Fenway Park very well. Pitching at Fenway Park in a Red Sox uniform for the first time was something he will never forget.
“It was special for me. Something I’ll never forget,” Porcello said. “It was a lot of fun. I can’t really put it into words right now, but it was exciting.”
Porcello took even more satisfaction in the start after the Red Sox’ 10-run defeat less than 15 hours prior to Monday’s game Sunday night in New York against the Yankees. He made sure the team didn’t lose back-to-back games for the first time this season.
“I think it’s good,” Porcello said. “We had a rough night last night but we got in and then we came in this morning, everybody had energy somehow and we were ready to go.”
The right-hander seems to enjoy pitching at Fenway as he is now 2-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his last two starts, going eight innings in both of them as well.
|04.13.15 at 7:43 pm ET|
David Ortiz has been around the game of baseball a long time, so when he says something was the craziest thing he’s ever seen, it must be pretty good.
What Mookie Betts did in the first inning against the Nationals in Monday’s home opener was that good.
After robbing Bryce Harper of a home run in the top of the first inning, Betts led off the bottom half of the inning with a walk. After Dustin Pedroia flied out to center and Ortiz was batting — and the Nationals were in a shift — Betts took off for second and barely beat shortstop Ian Desmond’s tag.
Then, because of the shift, no one was in the area of third base so he took off and beat pitcher Jordan Zimermann to the bag, albeit a close play once again.
The Nationals challenged the play, but after a lengthy review both plays stood.
“That was fun. That was the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in baseball,” Ortiz said. “We were talking about it and I was explaining to him what he did because I don’t think he knows. I mean, I know because when I was telling him what he did he was like, ‘Really?’ I was like, ‘Bro, not even in a few practices you can do that.’ I asked him what he was thinking and he was like, ‘I know they play with a shift so I kind of got up right away and I knew they weren’t catching to catch me.’
“He said he saw where the pitcher was and that was the reason why he started moving to third. I told him, ‘Like a second after the shortstop stopped tagging you that you got up and went, like the shortstop was breathing on you.’ It was unbelievable. That kid is an unbelievable athlete and he’s going to be a star.”
Ortiz himself had a pretty impressive home opener going 2-for-4 with two RBIs, including a solo home run in the sixth inning. It was his second home run of the season.
This was Ortiz’s 13th Opening Day at Fenway Park, so he is no stranger to the Fenway crowd. But for some, like Hanley Ramirez and Pablo Sandoval, it was their first taste to the loud roars and electric atmosphere.
Ortiz said he talked to them about it afterwards.
“It’s a fun Opening Day, man,” Ortiz said. “I kind of talked to some of the new guys about it and how they feel about Opening Day. They were like, ‘It’s out of control.’ I was like, ‘Well, that is how it is every day so get used to it.'”
|04.13.15 at 6:14 pm ET|
Mookie Betts is quickly becoming a Boston fan favorite.
The Red Sox‘ center fielder achieved for what for some may take the entire season in the first two innings in the Red Sox‘ 9-4 win over the Nationals in the home opener. The Red Sox have now won nine of their last 10 home openers.
In the top of the first inning he robbed Bryce Harper of a home run to right center field. Then, after leading off the bottom half of the inning with a walk, he stole second base and with the Nationals shifting David Ortiz, alertly swiped third base too with no one covering the bag on the same play.
Washington challenged both, but Betts was ruled safe at both second and third. He scored on the next pitch — an RBI single to left by Ortiz.
Betts wasn’t done there as when he stepped to the plate in the bottom of the second with two runners on and lined a three-run homer into the Monster seats. It was his second home run of the season.
Jordan Zimmermann struggled for the Nationals allowing eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits while walking one, hitting two and not recording a strikeout in just 2 1/3 innings. He was the victim of some horrid defense behind him as the visitors committed an error, but allowed two fly balls to fall between two outfielders and another misplayed ball in the infield.
The offense also gave Porcello plenty of support, belting out 13 hits in the win.
SWENSON GRANITE WORKS ROCK SOLID PERFORMER OF THE GAME: Betts. He finished 2-for-4 with a home run, four RBI and two stolen bases. He became the first Red Sox leadoff hitter to record at least a home run, four RBI, and two stolen bases in a game.
Here is what went right (and wrong) in the Red Sox win:
|04.13.15 at 4:27 pm ET|
The Red Sox welcomed fans back to Fenway Park with a memorable home opener ceremony that featured, among others, Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, Robert Kraft, Pete Frates and Jane and Henry Richard. Check out all our photos from throughout the day here.
|04.13.15 at 2:21 pm ET|
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