By Michael Jarosz
The Boston Red Sox may not be the best in baseball after five games battling the bug spreading through the clubhouse, but they’re certainly starting their season right at 3-2. With strong debuts from Chris Sale and Rick Porcello, the Sox are looking alright despite the illness that is going around, affecting players so badly that even Robbie Ross Jr. was sent to the disabled list because of the influenza. After a strong opening series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Boston got a rude wake-up call when they lost two out of the first three to the Detroit Tigers in a four-game set.
“We have been since Spring Training,” said manager John Farrell of the flu-like symptoms spreading through the team. “We’ve removed people to quarantine them, and yet this hasn’t been able to be contained from one certain group to another or a couple of guys.” Even broadcaster Dave O’Brien had to leave in the middle of Saturday’s game with symptoms.
In the meantime, the AL East has started off with some surprising results. As the Toronto Blue Jays have only won one of their six games thus far, the Baltimore Orioles and the Tampa Bay Rays are the frontrunners of the division. The AL Central is even more surprising with the Minnesota Twins at the lead after six games, while the AL West has the Los Angeles Angels ahead.
For the National League, the NL East division has started off evenly with four teams boasting 3-3 records throughout their first six games. The Atlanta Braves however, are 1-5 thus far. In the NL Central, the Chicago Cubs are currently tied with the Cincinnati Reds as leaders, while the Arizona Diamondbacks boast a 6-1 through their first seven games.
Some surprises to start the season were the pair of home runs hit by San Francisco Giants pitcher Madison Bumgarner on opening day, the incredible bullpen work of the Colorado Rockies led by returning closer Greg Holland, and the offensive surges by teams such as the Philadelphia Phillies. The Red Sox themselves have had their fair share of welcome surprises, as catcher Sandy Leon has made a strong showing for Boston after the first few games of the season. The future does look bright for the majors, and more excitement is bound to come!