First impressions from the Red Sox' 4-0 win over the San Francisco Giants:
It looked like it might be a long -- or, short -- night for Rick Porcello
The first two batters of the night - Denard Span and Angel Pagan -- hit singles, giving the Giants runners at first and second and nobody out.
But as it turned out, that would be the last time the Giants had more than one baserunner at a time against Porcello and the last time they would have someone reach scoring position.
Porcello allowed just two more hits after the first two batters and was never in any real danger.
In a way, it was a typical Porcello outing from this season -- lots of balls put in play (just three strikeouts recorded, all in a row to follow the first two hits in the first), good command (two walks) and the ability to pitch the Red Sox into the seventh inning.
It had been a while since David Ortiz did something of impact at the plate.
In New York over the weekend, Ortiz seemed to hit at least one ball hard every game -- a hard line drive to the right field corner in the first game; a bullet to shortstop in the second; and a ball to the warning track in center on Sunday night.
Each one, however, was hit directly at someone, and the series finished without Ortiz leaving his mark - a rarity for him in three games at Yankee Stadium.
Tuesday night, it began just the same way for Ortiz, who hammered a ball to the triangle in the second only to have Span track it down on the warning track.
But two innings later, Ortiz connected -- and didn't get cheated. He drove a pitch from Jake Peavy deep into the bleachers behind the bullpens.
Perhaps Ortiz would do well to swing at the first pitch more often.
Ortiz is hitting .514 with three homers in such situations - including the homer he belted off Peavy Tuesday night.
It's not that simple, of course. It's impossible for hitters to fall into predictable patterns like swinging at the first pitch. Before long, they'd never see a first-pitch strike and would begin every at-bat down in the count.
But it is remarkable that Ortiz, when he determines it's time to be ultra-aggressive, connects for a base hit more than half the time. And in 10 of his 37 at-bats, he's delivered a hit for extra-bases.