By: Chris Larson
At the start of every season, it seems as though everything is watched closely and magnified because so many eyes are watching the start of the game action and due to the fact that fans are getting back into baseball mode after a four-and-a-half month layoff. Regardless, it never seems to fail that at the start of every season, there are those moments that capture our attention and those moments that make us question, if our pre-season predictions and rankings, will really be accurate after all.
However, while some things certainly necessitate the need for concern and caution, there are other moments from these past three days that have just caused a stir among the baseball world and don't really necessitate the level of panic that some have shown. After all, there's still 158 or 159 games left in the season so there is plenty of time for these kinks to work themselves out and for those teams or players to return to their level of dominance again.
With that being said, here are three moments from the past 3 days that have caused overreaction throughout the game and among those teams fanbases.
1. The Boston Red Sox Starting Rotation - The Boston Red Sox have certainly had a wakeup call against the Seattle Mariners this weekend and the Mariners, have not let Boston win the first three games of the series, easily. During each of the last three games, the Red Sox have had to fight and claw until the very end and that resulted in a loss on Opening Day, a victory on Friday night, and a loss again last night. As Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe pointed out on Twitter last night, the Red Sox starters so far have pitched 9 innings, while allowing 17 hits and recording 15 earned runs. Certainly not the results any of us would have expected from the reigning World Series Champions, but it doesn't necessitate overreaction either.
Remember, this is a team that is coming off a World Series Championship and is still a very good team at that. Boston has a terrific starting rotation headlined by, Chris Sale and David Price, at the top and will eventually find their groove again. It might take some time, but recall especially with power arms such as Chris Sale, it takes them time to warm up and start performing at a high level again. You can't forget that Chris Sale only pitched 9 innings in Spring Training either because the Red Sox wanted to ease him into game action and act cautiously to avoid a pre-season injury. Regardless, Sale managed to still put up a 0.00 ERA over those 9 innings and while he has a 21.00 ERA over three innings to start this season, he will end up being just fine, as will the rest of the Boston Red Sox starting rotation.
2. Defensive Miscues and the Washington Nationals - So far during the first two games of the season, the Washington Nationals sure haven't stood by the ideas they set forth during Spring Training about being a better team defensively and focusing on the basics of the game of baseball. While every team heads into Spring Training attempting to focus on those things, sometimes it depends on the player personnel on the team and how defensively sound each player is at their respective position. In the case of the Washington Nationals, the team is going to be just fine despite their early defensive struggles and will eventually find a way to overcome those challenges as the season moves forward.
When you look at the Washington Nationals 25-man roster, there is plenty of star power and names that are easily recognizable to even the average baseball fan. There's Ryan Zimmerman at first base, Brian Dozier at second, Trea Turner at shortstop, Anthony Rendon over at third, and the outfield is composed of two young-and-upcoming stars in, Juan Soto and Victor Robles, along with Adam Eaton over in right field. You could make the argument that if Adam Eaton finds a way to stay healthy, the Washington Nationals could have one of the top 5 outfield arrangements in the game this year. That's why the overreaction to the defensive miscues shown in the first two games, are just that, overreactions. What ended up happening is some bad luck and hopefully that bad luck won't continue over the remainder of the season, as the Washington Nationals look to continue their quest to win the, National League East.
3. Houston Astros Tied with the Angels for Last Place in the AL West - To say that the Houston Astros aren't the cream of the crop in the American League West would be a huge understatement and simply not accurate. When you look at the AL West, the Astros are still the team to beat and the team that everyone is going to be looking up to as the season moves along. Yes, the Astros currently have a 1-2 record on the year and are looking to prevent the Tampa Bay Rays from getting the series win this afternoon, but if you are worried about their performance thus far and concerned that they aren't as strong as they have been the past two seasons, take a step back and take a deep breath.
The Houston Astros are very much poised to do big things still with a tremendous amount of talent on their 25-man roster and have a very good pitching staff, even without Charlie Morton, Lance McCullers, and Dallas Keuchel. As Colin McHugh showed yesterday afternoon, he can be a very effective guy to replace some of that lost depth in the starting rotation and has the pitches necessary to make the opposing teams hitters look silly at the plate. Add to that the two studs at the top of the rotation in, Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole both of whom should remain in contention for the AL Cy Young Award all year long, as well as, a lineup that includes the best number 1-5 hitters in the game right now. You can't go wrong with a lineup that has the likes of George Springer, Jose Altuve, Alex Bregman, Michael Brantley, and Yuli Gurriel in it and that's exactly why there is no need to panic, over the way the 2019 regular season, has started for the Houston Astros.