What a stunner. Of all the things we expected today, Curt Schilling pitching like a fifth starter was last on the list.
With Schilling, there are a a few things you take for granted. One is that he won’t beat himself with poor location. Another is he’ll give you six or seven innings. A third is that on a big stage such as Opening Day, he will come through.
Well, Schilling went 0-for-3 in those usual gimme areas today. As he said after the game, his lack of command with the fastball was the culprit. Mike Lowell put it best when he said he would have bet his house that Schilling wouldn’t have walked in a run. Fortunately, Lowell was too busy playing in the game to place any such wagers, and his family will sleep well, and under a nice roof tonight.
As amped as everyone was for Opening Day — Dustin Pedroia showed his excitement by getting thrown about by a good 10 feet trying to stretch a single into a double — it really is a meaningless gauge on what will happen for the rest of the season.
Take last season. The Red Sox put on a virtual clinic in their Opener in Texas, basically playing a texbtbook game. They finished in third place. Take 2004. The Sox and Pedro Martinez took a beating in the opener in Baltimore. That team won the World Series.
It’s amazing how one bad inning can take the air out of a team. The Red Sox seemed so flat once the Royals rallied in the bottom of the fourth.
Wednesday night will be a much different atmosphere. You won’t have that Opening Day crowd. It will be just another April game. I’m intrigued to see if Josh Beckett can be as good during the season as he was during the spring. I think you’ve all heard me say I’m convinced Beckett is going to have a bust-out year. Let’s see if it really happens.
Anyway, I’ll probably lay low during tomorrow’s off-day, but I’ll be sure to blog away on Wednesday.
Until then, later!