Red Sox

First impressions of Red Sox' 7-5 win over the Astros


First impressions of Red Sox' 7-5 win over the Astros

First impressions of the Red Sox' 7-5 win over the Astros:

Henry Owens fastball command may have digressed since last year.

In case you missed watching -- or somehow didn’t notice -- Ryan Hanigan was moving all over the place after Owens delivered most pitches.

Not because his curve was sharper than expected or his change had an immense amount of run. He could not spot his fastball.

While he kept Boston in the game during his start, Owens will continue to run into trouble if he can’t command his fastball.

There was even a case where Hanigan set up down and away from the left-handed hitting Jason Castro and Owens missed up and in on the Astros’ catcher. Not something you see in most major-league games.

The most important stat from Owens’ rough start is he threw six more strikes (46) than balls (40).

Dustin Pedroia hasn’t shown he plans to slow down.

After going 2-for-4 Saturday the 32-year-old second baseman picked up where he left off, drilling a double down the line to start the game, en route to 3-for-7 with a triple, too.

Pedroia’s play has shown how much his injuries affected his performance in 2014 and 2015.

Hopefully, for Boston, his health holds up so the top of the order maintains its potency.

The bullpen bailed Owens out big time.

John Farrell only got 3 1/3 innings from his starter, but his bullpen held down the fort until Craig Kimbrel blew his first save with two outs in the ninth.

Matt Barnes was solid, despite throwing one more ball than strikes. When he got in a jam and lost control, Junichi Tazawa bailed him out.

Koji Uehara was his normal self.

Kimbrel didn’t get the memo, giving up a home run to Colby Rasmus, who hadn’t gotten a hit against the righty in his career.

Heath Hembree was impressive once again, stepping up when needed and showing that he is starting to figure out big-league hitters.

After the scary pitch on Friday, Xander Bogaerts seems okay.

Although he finished hitless, Bogaerts made good contact and didn’t show signs of discomfort. Additionally, he made the plays he needed to make in the field.

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

NBC Sports Boston Photo

The Baseball Show Podcast: Should we be confident in the Red Sox rotation?

0:21 - With less than two week before the beginning of the 2018 season, the Red Sox don’t have all of the answers for their rotation. Lou Merloni and Evan Drellich project their Opening Day rotation and discuss the lack of depth in it.

4:39 - Will Boston’s version of the ‘Killer B’s’ return in full force this season? Lou and Evan analyze the performances of Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Andrew Benintendi.

10:07 - Buy or sell? John Farrell will find another managerial position this season; J.D. Martinez will have a better season than Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton; Dave Dombrowski has put the best possible team out there for 2018.