A few Opening Day tidbits to whet your appetite before gametime …
The Red Sox haven’t won on Opening Day since 2000, when Pedro Martinez pitched an 11-strikeout, seven-inning gem to lead Boston to a 2-0 victory in Seattle. Since then, the Sox have dropped five straight openers, the longest current streak in baseball and second-longest skid in team history.
The Sox have been blown out in their last two season openers by a combined score of 16-4. In the three seasons prior to 2004, they lost each of their openers by a single run.
Jason Varitek will start at catcher for the Red Sox for the seventh straight Opening Day — the longest streak in team history. In fact, no other catcher has been behind the dish for seven openers, period, never mind consecutively.
Remarkably, Mark Loretta will become Boston’s 12th different Opening Day second baseman in the last 13 years. How many can you name? Give it a try before looking at this list:
2005: Mark Bellhorn
Varitek, Manny Ramirez and David Ortiz are the sole returnees from the Red Sox’ Opening Day lineup in 2005.
Of the 52 players who appeared in at least one game for the Red Sox last year, 15 are on the 2006 Opening Day roster or the disabled list.
2003: Todd Walker
2002: Rey Sanchez
2001: Chris Stynes
2000: Jose Offerman
1999: Jeff Frye
1998: Donnie Sadler
1997: John Valentin
1996: Wil Cordero
1995: Luis Alicea
1994: Scott Fletcher