MLB Opening Day: Breaking Down Baseball’s First Games of the Year
After an offseason lockout and one week delay to the regular season, baseball is back. I am so glad that we’re actually getting a season to watch all of our favorite teams and stars. The opening day slate saw 14 teams in action, two games (Red Sox-Yankees and Mariners-Twins) were delayed and will get their season started today. Last night’s contests were pretty exciting and channeled the opening day energy we have all been longing for. Let’s get into the breakdown.
Brewers @ Cubs (Burnes vs Hendricks)
The Cubs opened up their season at home in Wrigley Field against the tough Milwaukee Brewers. Corbin Burnes was on the mound for the Brewers, while Kyle Hendricks got the nod for Chicago. Both pitchers put up zeroes up until the top of the 4th, where Lorenzo Cain drove in new Brew Crew member, Andrew McCutchen. The Cubs punched right back in the bottom of the frame, with Patrick Wisdom driving in Seiya Suzuki on a sacrifice fly, and a Nico Hoerner 2-run shot to left. The Brewers tied it up in the 7th, but Ian Happ’s double drove in two to bring back the lead. Milwaukee would get one back in the 8th, but Cubs’ reliever David Robertson would shut the door, closing Chicago’s opening day victory, 5–4. Corbin Burnes posted a line of 4 hits, 3 ER, 3 free passes, and only 4 Ks. Kyle Hendricks went 5 and 1/3 innings strong, only allowing 1 run on 5 hits and 3 walks while punching out 7.
Guardians @ Royals (Bieber vs Grienke)
The newly named Guardians drew the Kansas City Royals in their first game of the year. On the mound for Cleveland was Cy Young and 2x All Star Shane Bieber, while fellow Cy Young Zack Grienke was given the Opening Day start back with the Royals. The first run of the game came in the 4th just like the game in Wrigley, this one on a Jose Ramirez RBI double. However, Nicky Lopez answered back with an RBI double of his own in the bottom of the 5th. The game went scoreless for a couple innings until the Royals pulled away in the 8th, posting 2 more runs and winning the contest 3–1. Bieber went 4 and 2/3 innings for the Guardians allowing only 1 run on 3 hits and punching out 4. Grienke lasted 5 and 2/3 giving up 1 run on 5 hits, while issuing one free pass and striking out just 1.
Pirates @ Cardinals (Brubaker vs Wainwright)
The Pirates traveled to St. Louis in their first contest of the season. JT Brubaker got the Opening Day nod for the Pirates while veteran Adam Wainwright did the honors for the Cardinals. Brubaker was chased out of the game early tonight, giving up an RBI single to Tyler O’Neill in the first and a 3-run dinger to O’Neill in the 2nd. He exited after only 3 innings. The Cardinals didn’t allow any runs and kept piling on the damage in the second half of the game. Homers by Tommy Edman and Nolan Arenado highlighted the rest of the scoring mania, and St. Louis came out victorious 9–0. JT Brubaker was roughed for 4 runs, 4 hits, and 3 walks while only accumulating 2 Ks. Wainwright was lights out, spinning 6 scoreless innings allowing 5 hits and racking up 6 strikeouts.
Reds @ Braves (Mahle vs Fried)
The World Champion Atlanta Braves hosted the Reds in their first game of the season. Taking the mound for Atlanta was Max Fried, while Tyler Mahle got the nod for Cincinnati. The Reds got to Fried early, as Kyle Farmer drove in a run in the 2nd as well as Joey Votto and Tyler Stephenson tacking on two more in the 3rd. Austin Riley brought the Braves within two in the bottom of the 3rd, but Brandon Drury crushed a 3-run bomb in the 6th, killing any hope for a comeback. Riley smacked his first dinger of the season in the bottom of the 8th, but the Braves came up short, losing 6–3. Mahle picked up his first win of the year allowing no ER, 3 H, 2 walks, and punching out 7. Fried was rocked for 5 runs on 8 hits, but issued just one free pass and struck out 5.
Mets @ Nationals (Megill vs Corbin)
Juan Soto and the Nationals hosted the Mets in their matchup on Thursday night. With Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom both unavailable, Tylor Megill got the start for the Mets, while Patrick Corbin did the honors for the Nationals. Both pitchers were dealing up until the 5th, when the Mets cracked the ice taking a 2–0 lead. Mark Canha and Jeff McNeil each contributed RBI singles in the 6th, widening the gap to 4 runs. Soto smashed a bomb to right in the bottom of the frame, but Francisco Lindor slapped an RBI single in the 7th, bringing the final score of this one to 5–1 in the Mets favor. Megill spun 5 scoreless, allowing just 3 hits. He punched out 6 without issuing a single walk. Corbin took the loss for Washington, giving up 2 walks, 5 hits, and 2 runs while amassing 4 Ks.
Astros @ Angels (Valdez vs Ohtani)
The Astros and Angels squared off in Anaheim for Opening Day. Frambler Valdez took the mound for Houston while last year’s MVP Shohei Ohtani got the nod for the Angels. Alex Bregman led the way for the Astros, hitting an RBI single off Ohtani in the 3rd and further extending their lead by homering in the 8th. Yordan Alvarez also smacked a solo shot, giving Houston a 3–0 lead. David Fletcher tripled bringing in Brandon Marsh, but the Astros were able to fend off any Angels comeback winning the game 3–1. Valdez picked up his 1st win on the season and was excellent, going 6 and 2/3 innings allowing no runs and just 2 hits and 1 walk with 6 punch outs. Ohtani pitched an amazing 9 strikeouts, allowing just 1 run on 4 hits and 1 free pass, but had no run support giving him a loss.
Padres @ Diamondbacks (Darvish vs Bumgarner)
The Padres ventured to the desert for their first game of the season. Yu Darvish got the Opening Day start for the Friars while veteran Madison Bumgarner started for the D-Backs. The first run of the game came on 4 walks in the same inning by Bumgarner and the second was an RBI single for Austin Nola. The Padres held the lead for the entire game up until the 9th, where they proceeded to absolutely collapse. Robert Saurez issued 2 straight walks, then hit Carson Kelly to load the bases with no one out. Craig Stammen relieved Suarez, but was also insanely terrible, allowing a run to score on a wild pitch and served up the walk-off home run to Seth Beer. Arizona took the home victory, 4–2. Darvish spun 6 no-hit innings with 4 walks and 3 Ks, but his stellar start was wasted. Bumgarner lasted only 3 innings, but only allowed 1 hit and 1 run. He walked 4 and whiffed 2.
There it is, Opening Day has officially come and gone. We are now treated to baseball from now til fall and I’ll be enjoying the ride. There are so many electric stars in today’s game that will be a blast to watch. I will be writing more baseball articles in the future so stay tuned. That’ll be all for now, thanks for reading and see you guys later.
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