First impressions from the Red Sox' 5-3 win over the San Francisco Giants
Xander Bogaerts is asking for trouble.
Bogaerts has had a habit of sliding head-first into first base, which is not only dangerous but inefficient. Simple laws of physics suggest that a baserunner's path to first is actually slowed by sliding into the bag.
Beyond that, there's an inherent risk of injury to such a practice. It's all too easy to jam a finger or hand during the slide.
Manager John Farrell and his coaching staff have made this point to Bogaerts, who is otherwise pretty coachable. Instincts, apparently, take over for Bogaerts, but it's a habit he should break.
It's difficult to execute a better bunt than Mookie Betts produced in the top of the 10th.
Betts may have been content to move the runners along -- they were at first and second with no out -- but the bunt was so well-placed that Betts was able to reach first with a single, loading the bases.
That's part of what makes Betts such a complete player: he's not only second on the team in homers and RBI, but he's also capable of doing some of the "little things'' otherwise required of a leadoff hitter.
Rick Porcello reversed a trend with a solid start.
Porcello had been slumping of late, but he gave the Sox six solid innings, allowing three runs.
He had just one bad stretch, in which he allowed three consecutive singles, followed by a bases-loaded walk and a run-scoring double play. Other than that, Porcello threw strikes and retired eight of the final nine hitters he faced.
After beginning the season with six quality starts in his first seven outings, Porcello had recently gone three consecutive starts without one. That ended Tuesday night.
Bogaerts showed great discpline in his 10th inning at-bat.
Remember when Bogaerts was a 21-year-old rookie in the ALCS, and he didn't bite on a borderline pitch from Max Scherzer? Everyone praised his selectivity.
That was on display again Tuesday night when, behind 1-and-2 to Giants closer Santiago Casilla, he wouldn't swing on a pitch that just missed. Two pitches later, Bogaerts delivered the go-ahead two-run single to center.