Boston Red Sox have heart despite slow start

The extent of Jacoby Ellsbury's shoulder injury is still unknown. Ellsbury was injured while breaking up a double play in the Boston Red Sox home opener on Friday. (Elsa/Getty Images)

The Red Sox went 0-6 to start last season, but for the better of the year they were one of the best teams in baseball. Then September hit. They crashed. They crashed in historic fashion.

The crash only lingered when Terry Francona, Theo Epstein and Jonathan Papelbon left the organization. The news continued to get worse when fans learned certain players seemingly didn’t care or refused to take responsibility for last September. The Red Sox showed no fight.

The reaction Red Sox fans are having right now isn’t about the first week of the 2012 season. It’s a combination of last September and the early the results of this year.

But I’m here to tell you there’s hope. There’s a heart to this current version of the Red Sox that just wasn’t there last September. And despite the right shoulder injury to Jacoby Ellsbury in the home opener, the Red Sox looked especially good during Friday’s 12-2 drubbing of the Tampa Bay Rays.

This offense will fight to the very last at-bat. There is an early feeling about this team that you better not turn off the television until the final out.

Going into Friday’s game, Ryan Sweeney has had some early season heroics and Dustin Pedroia (.320, with 1 HR and 2 RBIs) and David Ortiz (.304, with 2 doubles, 2 RBIs and 2 runs scored) are both off to nice starts.

Jon Lester has tossed two gems and could be 2-0, but he ran into aces Justin Verlander and Ricky Romero.

Remember, the Red Sox were a very resilient team until that horrendous collapse.

According to statistician Chuck Waseleski, The Red Sox had 43 come-from-behind wins last season (second in the majors) and they came from behind by three or more runs to win 12 games (first in the majors).

It’s easy to forget this team had heart. It’s easy to forget they have heart.

Just look at a small sampling of their offensive numbers from the eighth-inning on this season:

Pedroia: five hits in six at-bats, two doubles and three walks.

Nick Punto: four hits in four at-bats, one double and two runs batted in.

Sweeney: three hits in four at-bats, with one triple and two runs batted in.

Darnell McDonald: has three runs scored from the eighth inning on.

The sun is shining in Boston today. The Red Sox are finally home and they will be an exciting team all year. Forget last September and remember not to give up until the final out.

Contributor: Brian Hendrickson

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