The dust has settled on Opening Day, and baseball season is now fully underway (well, except for both colors of Sox), so here’s a quick recap of what went on in each of yesterday’s games.
- Mets 2, Reds 1: Johan Santana was solid (5.2 IP / 3 H / 1ER / 4 BB / 7K) and David Murphy’s two-run homer provided just enough offense; the real story was the new-look Mets bullpen, which allowed just one baserunner in the final 3.1 innings.
- Rangers 9, Indians 1: Kevin Millwood gave a solid “number-one-starter” type of effort, and Cliff Lee got knocked around after being nearly unbeatable last year (Cleveland was 26-5 in games Lee started in ’08). This Rangers team has as deep of a lineup as you’ll see, and how much they get from their pitching staff will determine how close they are to contention.
- Diamondbacks 9, Rockies 8: The Rockies jumped on Brandon Webb early, but lost because their own staff couldn’t keep the ball in the yard. Tony Clark and Felipe Lopez of the Diamondbacks became the first pair of switch-hitting teammates to homer from both sides of the plate in the same game on Opening Day, which is significant…somehow.
- Marlins 12, Nationals 6: Hanley Ramirez hit a grand slam, and Emilio Bonifacio hit the first Opening Day inside-the-park home run since Yaz did it in 1968. All you need to know is this: the Nats gave up a two-run homer, a solo shot, the aforementioned inside-the-park job and a grand slam….and that was just between the third and sixth innings.
- Orioles 10, Yankees 5: CC Sabathia allowed six runs on eight hits in 4.1 innings, with 5 walks, 2 wild pitches, and a partridge in a pear tree. He also failed to strike a batter out for the first time since July of 2005. I know CC’s a notoriously slow starter and that he’ll probably revert to the mean sooner or later and start earning his paycheck. For the moment, though I’d like to make the inaugural “Brian Cashman visualizing flaming duffel bags of cash” joke of the 2009 baseball season.
- Pirates 6, Cardinals 4: The Bucs played possum for 8 innings before roaring back on former catcher / new Cards closer Jason Motte in St. Louis. I blame this on Tony LaRussa’s choice of Motte over former ‘Cane Chris Perez as closer. This is the sort of ugly NL Central game you can expect roughly 60 more of this season.
- Blue Jays 12, Tigers 5: Justin Verlander got torched for 8 earned runs in 3.1 innings, and Adam Lind drove in 6 for the Blue Jays. Add in seven innings of Roy Halladay, and you’ve got a Toronto win. It’s sad, because this Jays team could make noise in most other divisions; in the AL East they’re fighting for third at best.
- Cubs 4, Astros 2: Carlos Zambrano got his first Opening Day win, Roy Oswalt took a tough-luck loss (3 runs in 7 innings) on the other end, and Kevin Gregg worked a ninth inning that was technically successful but mainly served to sow doubt about whether or not Marmol should be closing instead.
- Mariners 6, Twins 1: The media will play up Junior’s first home run of his second stint with the Mariners, but the most important thing I saw in this game was Felix Hernandez. It was evident coming into the WBC that Felix was in better shape this year, and it’s showing so far on the mound. I don’t think the Mariners are going to contend this year, but I think that Felix’s performance might help them decide if/when it’s time to go into fire sale mode.
- Dodgers 4, Padres 1: Manny was less than visible (0-3, BB, run) but the Dodgers managed to beat Jake Peavy for the first time since 2003 despite a seven-inning, eight strikeout outing from the Padres ace. Hiroki Kuroda was good as well, giving up just 4 hits and 1 run in 5.2 innings for LA.
- Angels 3, Athletics 0: Joe Saunders pitched 6.2 innings of three-hit ball, three relievers went the remaining 2.1 without allowing a baserunner, and (typically) the Angels scored 2 of their 3 runs on singles. It’ll be interesting to see what the AL West looks like at the end of this month, if the Angels’ rotation is indeed as undermanned as it was made to seem tonight.
Meast Of The Day: Felix Hernandez, SEA ( 8 IP / 5 H / 1 ER / 6 K)
Awful Box Score Of The Day: (TIE)
- Justin Verlander, DET ( 3.2 IP / 8 H / 8 ER / 2BB / 4 K)
- CC Sabathia, NYY (4.1 IP / 8 H / 6 ER / 5 BB / 2 WP / 0 K)