Red Sox Recap: vs. NYY (04.01.13)

Game 1: Boston Red Sox 8 & New York Yankees 2

The atmosphere surrounding this game may not have been on the same level as the 2004 ALCS but it sure felt like a lot was riding on today's Opening Day game against the Yankees. In reality it probably meant more to us, the fans, then it did to the organization as a whole, but after last year's regrettable and forgettable season today meant a fresh start for our beloved Sox team.

Today's game displayed two very important facets of this Red Sox team: The offense can be extremely lethal and the bullpen is going to be a strength for this 2013 team.

The offense was far from perfect today (especially the heart of the lineup), but the top and bottom of the batting order provided the spark needed to put runs on the board. Jacoby Ellsbury showed today why he's consider one of the best leadoff men in MLB. Ellsbury had 3 hits, 1 run and 2 RBI as the center fielder rebounded from a slow spring training start.

Shane Victorino added 2 hits and 3 RBI in a winning effort against the rival Yankees and looked every bit the part of the team contributor that we were promised this spring. Jose Iglesias continued his spring training hot streak as he contributed 3 hits, 1 run and 1 RBI.

As for the bullpen it provided solid relief for starter Jon Lester who went 5 innings giving up 2 runs, 2 walks and struck out 7. Red Sox relievers Koji Uehara, Andrew Miller, Andrew Bailey, Junichi Tazawa and Joel Hanrahan combined for 4 innings pitched, 1 hit, 0 runs, 2 walks and 3 struck outs as they shut out the Yankees today. A great sign that the bullpen will be a strength for the Sox and a safety net for the Sox starters.

Many eyes were on Red Sox rookie Jackie Bradley Jr. as he made his first professional start in left field on Opening Day. The youngster had an encouraging day that many might miss if they paid attention to the box score alone. The rookie displayed great patience and maturity at the plate which lead to 3 walks, 2 runs and 1 RBI. His batting average may stand at .000 but Bradley played an vital part in today's win against the Yanks and gave all Sox fans a reason to smile moving forward.

I know it's only the Opening Day game and it would be somewhat irresponsibility to infer too much from just one performance, however, today the Red Sox gave us much to be optimistic as we move into the 2013 season. If today was just a baseline for further achievements this season then this team may force all of us to reconsider what we thought would be obtainable in 2013.

Follow Scott Levesque on Twitter at @levyskew.