Yesterday was Opening Day for Major League Baseball and we were treated to six games on day one. The other teams get the call Opening Day today. One of the best things about the season being underway is that all of the predictions and projections—we can finally get some real numbers to chew on. All teams have their aces on the mound and every team has a new beginning For me, there’s really no better feeling than Opening Day.
I’m not sure how you all feel about Opening Day occuring in March, but New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixierra loves it.
“I’ve been petitioning the league to start in March for years now, finally they let us start in March because everyone knows about my Aprils.” - Mark Teixeira
Something else that stuck out to me on a positive note, the Cincinnati Reds. The walk off win to be exact. I mean, is it just me, or do the Reds always seem to come back in games? This could be the toughest team in all of baseball. Down 6-3, the Reds loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth. At the time, they were 0-for-8 with RISP and had stranded 10 men on base.
John Axford was in to close it out for the Brewers, but it was not to be. Jay Bruce struck out, and Jonny Gomes hit a sac fly to bring the Reds closer.
Still down 6-4, Ramon Hernandez strolled to the plate. Already 3-for-4 on the day, Hernandez clubbed a walk-off, three-run home run to right field to give the Reds the 7-6 win on Opening Day.
Could this be a Red October, anyone?
Not so good was the Detroit Tigers center fielder Austin Jackson struck out 170 times, the most in the AL. While he did finish second in AL Rookie of the Year voting, batting .293 with 27 stolen bases and 103 runs scored as Detroit’s leadoff man, it would be nice to see him improve his .345 OBP by cutting down on the strikeouts.
He didn’t look very good today against the Yankees’ CC Sabathia. Jackson went 1-for-4 with a run scored and three strikeouts in the Tigers’ 6-3 loss. It’s still early, of course—very early, in fact—but it’s not good to see Jackson striking out three times, especially not when facing a lefty like Sabathia.
In St. Louis, it was not a good start for the hometown Cardinals. More importantly, the bullpen for the Cards was dreadful.
Ryan Franklin only had a one-run lead to protect, but he couldn’t get the job done. After Cardinals outfielder Matt Holliday hit a go-ahead solo homer to right-center, Franklin gave up a two-out, game-tying home run to Cameron Maybin.
With the loss of Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals are going to have to score runs and make sure those runs stand up in the late innings. That means Franklin needs to have a good season. Unfortunately, he’s not off to a good start. The boo birds were out in force in St. Louis.
It wasn’t all due to the bullpen woes though. The boo birds were out for the Cardinals soon-to-be free agent slugger Albert Puljols who had a day to forget by going 0-4 and grounding into three double plays. If Pujols has a rough start to the season, fans will be quick to point to his contract situation as the cause. The only question will be if they’ll blame the Cardinals front office or Pujols himself.
Those were some notable happenings from Opening Day. Now, we have another Opening Day to sit back and enjoy and I’m ok with that.