John Farrell

Red Sox pregame notes: John Farrell, Red Sox looking forward to playing in front of Fenway Park crowd

Ryan Hannable
April 13, 2015 - 9:43 am

The Red Sox will begin their 2015 home slate Monday afternoon against the Nationals. After spending the first week of the season on the road, the team is anxious to get back to playing in front of their home fans. It will mark the first appearances at home in Red Sox uniforms for Rick Porcello (Monday's starter), Pablo Sandoval and Hanley Ramirez (since he was traded in 2009). "It's always good to come home to our home crowd, Fenway Park, in particular," manager John Farrell said. "We're coming off I think a very productive spring training, a chance to spend a week on the road continuing to gel together as a team. We've been challenged in a couple of ways, but more than anything to get back in front of our home crowd is what we're anticipating." It also marks the second time in consecutive seasons they will open the home portion of their schedule against a National League team. In last year's home opener the Red Sox fell to the Brewers, 6-2 and were swept in the series. Before last season's loss, they had won 10 straight home openers. OTHER RED SOX NOTES -- Returning to Fenway means the first time Ramirez will play in front of the Green Monster. Although the team has a similar wall at JetBlue Park in Fort Myers, it isn't exactly the same as the one at Fenway, so there will certainly be an adjustment period, especially for a player who has never played the outfield before. Farrell said Ramirez will get some early work in when he can. "The only difference that we're going to face here is there is no netting that he saw in spring training," said Farrell. "There are a lot of similarities with the angles and the carom off the wall. There's going to be a chance tomorrow for him to get a little bit more early work. Our schedule has been so varied that we will take the opportunity to work when it is presented." -- Two of the Red Sox' best hitters in Mike Napoli and David Ortiz have got off to slow starts to the season with Napoli collecting his first hit of the year in the eighth inning of Sunday night's loss, snapping an 0-for-18 start to the year. Ortiz is currently 3-for-23. "I think over the last two games in particular in New York David's timing has been a little bit more consistent," Farrell said. "You see it even with some of the foul balls that he's fouled straight back. His balance his there. The fact is in Nap's case where the timing has been a little inconsistent he's take his walks, he's still seeing a high number of pitches. Finally good to see him square a ball up for a base hit last night. Two guys that are critical to the middle of the order for us." -- The first home series of the season features some good pitching matchups, particularly on the Nationals' side.