The Cubs beat the Red Sox 3-0 in the opener of the much-anticipated series between Theo Epstein’s new team and his old team. And while it is great that the Cubs got the win, barring a herculean pitching effort by Ryan Dempster, it should have been another loss for the north siders. The Cubs managed just 2 hits by a non-pitcher in the win today. Fortunately, both hits drove in the Cubs 3 runs. Steve Clevenger had a timely 2-out bases loaded double that drove in 2 runs in the 1st inning. And the next inning David DeJesus single drove in Ryan Dempster. Dempster had reached base earlier that inning on a “triple” to right field that regular 1st baseman Adrian Gonzalez misplayed down the line. So even that 2nd run was a little “lucky”…
Dempster pitched another solid outing – 7 scoreless innings, 4 hits, 2 walks and 3 K’s. Sure the Red Sox lineup is missing a little umph without Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury, but if you can keep David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia and Adrian Gonzalez off the scoreboard for an entire game, you’ve gotta be doing something right.
Carlos Marmol made it interesting in the 9th. He gave up a hit and a walk and a Luis Valbuena error in between put Marmol in a bases loaded 2-out jam. But Valbuena made a 2nd fabulous play in the inning with a hard line drive grounder by Pedroia to the hot corner that he scooped up and raced to make the game-ending force out just ahead of the racing footsteps by Mike Aviles.
With the win, the Cubs “improved” to 22-42. The Red Sox fell to 31-33. Not exactly the type of match-up that MLB envisioned in the winter.
Go Cubs Go!