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Red Sox fall to 0-2

On a day that UCONN advanced to the national championship AND the Boston Bruins clinch the NHL Northeast Division title, most New England sports fans are trying to ward off panic.  The 2011 Boston Red Sox have started the season 0-2.

Boston’s pitching staff performed horribly on Friday.  Jon Lester and Daniel Brad combined to allow nine runs.  This trend continued on Saturday night, as the Rangers’ potent offense knocked John Lackey around like a rented mule.

Lackey looked much better than he did last year.  In physical appearance, that is.  My guess is he lost fifteen or twenty pounds.  Unfortunately, this had no bearing on Lackey’s first start of the season.  He went 3 2/3 innings and allowed 9 runs on 10 hits. 

In many ways this was a carbon copy of the game played on Friday afternoon.  For the second day in a row, Ian Kinsler hit a home run in the Rangers’ first AB of the game.  He is now the first player ever to hit a home run in his first AB in the first two games of a season.  Also like yesterday, David Ortiz hit a home run.  He leads the team with 4 RBIs. 

In Kinsler’s next at bat, he hit a one-out double.  He was quickly knocked in with a triple by Elvis Andrus.  Hamilton then got Andrus home with a single, before stealing second base.

However, the bottom of the 4th inning was when we really got to see John Lackey melt.  Following a two-out, none call on what looked like a strike on Julio Borbon, Lackey looked shaken up.  Perhaps the questionable call was too much for the epitome of mediocre pitching. 

Borbon immediately followed up the umpire’s mistake with an RBI triple.  Yes, the second one that Lackey gave up tonight.  Later in the inning, with runners on 2nd and 3rd, Francona ordered an intentional walk to be dealt to reigning A.L. MVP Josh Hamilton.  He preferred the match up of John Lackey and Adrian Beltre.  So did Beltre.  Last year’s Red Sox MVP quickly made his old team pay with a grand slam. 

On a lighter note, Ortiz’s two RBI’s were enough for him to set the all-time record for RBIs by a designated hitter.  More significant, perhaps, is the hot start that Boston’s new slugger is putting together.  He’s batting .556 in his first two games, and already has three RBIs.  Ellsbury also continued his hot spring, hitting a 2-run HR tonight.  Perhaps these facts would be more heart warming if the 2011 MLB favorites weren’t off to a 0-2 start.