Well, that was awful. The Boston Red Sox didn’t even show up for the first meaningful baseball game of 2019. Recently-extended ace Chris Sale had one of the worst outings of his Red Sox career, allowing seven earned runs in just three innings of work. The offense was adequate, but it wasn’t enough to make up for Sale’s rough start and a bullpen which couldn’t minimize the damage.
The good news is that none of this matters that much. Yes, that ultimately affects the Red Sox record, but it’s only one game of 162. Last year at this point, the Red Sox bullpen had just wasted a masterful start by Chris Sale. Holding a four-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined to allow six runs and blow a lead to a seemingly-horrible Tampa Bay Rays team.
At the time, all the talk was about how the Red Sox bullpen was an unmitigated disaster and wasn’t good enough to win any meaningful games. If you think I’m being hyperbolic, look at the tweets from a year ago. J.D. Martinez went hitless after failing to record a home run in spring training, while Giancarlo Stanton hit two home runs in his Yankees debut. By all accounts, the Red Sox were once again on the wrong side of the rivalry, doomed to watch the Yankees clinch the division and possibly end Boston’s championship hopes.
None of those things happened. The Boston Red Sox overcame their one-game blunder to win 108 games and the World Series. The pushover Rays turned out to be a really good team and the unstoppable Yankees lost the ALDS 3-1 to the Red Sox. Joe Kelly, the guy primarily responsible for Boston’s Game One collapse, went on to be a postseason hero and one of the Red Sox most reliable relievers in October.
The 2019 Boston Red Sox are not a perfect team, but overreacting to one bad game isn’t the right thing to do. Chris Sale isn’t irreparably broken, and the Red Sox offense will hit a home run before the season comes to an end. Boston will remain in the playoff hunt for the whole season and should, at the very least, host the Wild Card game.