The title defense didn't get off to a great start yesterday as the Red Sox lost to the Orioles 2-1. While it's hard to get caught up on the 1st game in a 162-game season, there were some obvious things that need work if they want to get on track.
1. RISP - This was probably the most obvious one. The Red Sox had 3 extra base hits to 1 for the Orioles and went 0-10 with Runners in Scoring Position. That can't happen in the future. Especially when your starter goes 7 strong innings. 2. Taking advantage when you force the starter out early - The Sox made starter Charles Tillman throw 104 pitches in 5 innings, which prompted a call to the bullpen from the Orioles. If you get into another teams bullpen that early in the game, you have to take advantage of it and score off of their bullpen.
3. Coming up in late innings - If the first 2 things fail, you have to be able to produce in the late innings when you have the chances. The Sox had base runners in scoring position in each of the last 2 innings and couldn't do anything late. That wasn't too much of a problem last season, as the Sox had a number of walk off wins and wins in their last at bat, so I think that should get better.
Look, this is one game out of 162, so I may just be reading too much into one game. BUT I am pointing out things I noticed in the first game that need work if they want to be repeat.
Thoughts? Let me know on Twitter or leave a comment.