The Red Sox opened the 2012 season with a 3-2 loss to the Tigers today.
Going against AL MVP Justin Verlander, the Sox were shut out until the ninth when they rallied for two runs in the losing effort. Boston starter Jon Lester did his part, holding the potent Tigers to 1 run over 7 innings. But a loss is a loss and not how this team needed to get the season going.
Boston's designated closer, Andrew Bailey, is lost for the season with a thumb injury that requires surgery. Don't believe the rose-tinted glasses stuff coming from the team, Bailey may be able to throw again by mid season, but he won't be an effective closer this season. Period.
With Daniel Bard, originally slated to be Papelbon's replacement, moved into the starting rotation, there is no true closer on the team. So it looks like the Sox are going to close by committee this year. 'Cause that's worked so well for other teams in the past. ugh
Josh Beckett also has a thumb injury, which the team says is a non-factor. But anyone familiar with Beckett's career knows he's an every-other-year kind of pitcher. And with his strong season last year, I'd hate to think this is a portent of an off year when the team needs him desperately.
I know, it's only one game, against the league's best pitcher. But these guys need a HUGE rebound next game, or everyone's going to start giving this team the side-eye. And it will be deserved.