The biggest story so far is Andrew Miller, who has been impressive so far in his Red Sox debut. While Miller has given up two walks—something of a red flag given his previous troubles—it’s not really been indicative of a greater inability to throw strikes. Miller’s stuff has shone through, resulting in a great many weak ground balls. Two of the Padre’s three hits haven’t even left the infield.
Offensively, the Red Sox looked very much like the team that’s put up double digit runs on so many teams this month. Padres starter Wade LeBlanc didn’t really pitch a single good at bat through the first five batters. He gave up a line drive to Jacoby Ellsbury that happened to find Cameron Maybin’s glove, followed by a double from Dustin Pedroia and a single from Adrian Gonzalez to left to put runners on the corners. Youkilis walked to load the bases, setting up one of the best at bats so far this year.
David Ortiz stepped into the batter’s box and quickly found himself down 0-2, visibly frustrated with his failure to crush a hanging breaking ball. Ortiz took the next two pitches to even the count, fouled off a couple more, and then took a breaking ball that seemed like a strike to just about everyone but the man in black behind the plate.
Unfortunately for LeBlanc, that was the last time he’d get Ortiz to take a pitch. The next six offerings were all wasted, but the fourteenth of the at bat was not, as Ortiz flared it up well over the shortstop’s head and into left field for the RBI single. That was all the Sox would get, though, as Darnell McDonald popped out and Marco Scutaro grounded to third to end the inning.
Another run would come in the third on a two-out groundball single from Kevin Youkilis and a double smashed into the corner by David Ortiz that brought him all the way around from first.