In case you missed it, Eduardo Nuñez started his 2018 season with a bang, namely, he hit an inside-the-park 2-run homer in the 2nd inning to extend the Sox’s lead to 3-0.
But this wasn’t just any old inside-the-park (ITP) home run. I tend to overanalyze things, but I didn’t have to go far here; these coincidences and facts speak for themselves.
Here are all the reasons Nunie’s first big hit was beyond epic:
It was a home run
For a team that finished last in the AL in home runs last season, it was important to start this season strong, even more so than usual. A home run in an early inning of Opening Day? STRONG. Fans are clamoring for power-hitting, and Nuñez delivered.
Nuñez and Devers
At this point, Eduardo Nuñez and Rafael Devers feel like they’ve always been part of the team. It’s easy to forget that they were late-season additions, since they were immediate fan-favorites who made such big impacts towards the end of 2017.
But the cool thing for me here is that since joining the team, they’ve each hit an inside-the-park home run. And even cooler still, Devers had his in what would end up being the Sox’s last game of 2017, Game 4 of the ALDS. So Devers capped our last season with an ITP homer, and Nunie just started the new season with another one.
In his first at-bat of Game 1 of the 2017 ALDS, Nuñez literally crumbled, his injured knee betraying him in our time of need. It was a painful moment for him and for fans, a bad omen of the impending series loss. It was the end of Nuñez’s season and the beginning of the end of ours; all kind of seemed lost after that.
For him to turn it around so drastically today must’ve felt incredible. It was certainly a confidence-boost to see him return to full health.
Nunie vs. the Rays
Not only is this Nunie’s second ITP homer, but it’s also his second against Tampa Bay. That’s right, the only two he’s ever hit have both been against the same team. Is it too soon for Floridians to start calling Nuñez their daddy?
Nunie and Yaz
By now, you probably know that today is the first league-wide Opening Day in 50 years. The last time the entirety of MLB convened to begin a season together was in 1968, when a fair few of the expansion teams didn’t even exist!
But what you might not know is that 50 years ago, Carl Yastrzemski hit an ITP home run in the Sox’s Opening Day against the eventual 1968 World Champion Detroit Tigers. And since then, no Red Sock had achieved the feat in an Opening Day game.
Exactly 50 years later, enter Nuñez.