Spencer Watkins of the Baltimore Orioles is only the latest pitcher to struggle in his debut at Fenway Park. Guys have grown up watching games there on television, knowing what the park symbolizes in the sport, and knowing that big green wall is behind them. And as a result many guys struggle. Watkins’ line: 4.0 IP, 7 H, 6 R, 3 BB, 1 K.
Watkins struggled with his control, evidenced by the three walks and only one strikeout. Now to his credit, Watkins said after the game that the venue didn’t make a difference. However Fenway’s a tough play to pitch for the best pitchers, much less a rookie. But needless to say, Watkins said the right things on pitching at Fenway:
Same as every other place. Of course, Fenway is Fenway. Any baseball player can go onto that field and be a little bit wide-eyed, but I felt like it was more so me just staying focused mentally. Was there crowd noise? Absolutely, but there’s crowd noise everywhere. I think it’s just a matter of me staying focused mentally.Quote courtesy of Roch Kubatko, MASNsports
Boston started their party in the second inning. They got an RBI-single from Duran, an RBI-double from Dalbec, and a sac fly-RBI from Hernandez. This after Watkins loaded the bases with nobody out. The Birds’ line offensive bright spot came in the third, when Richie Martin smacked his first home run in two years – a solo shot.
Boston would add homers in the last of the fourth, sixth, and seventh. And they would take game one of this series, 8-1. It‘s the Orioles’ ninth straight loss.