After an opening act in Japan, the 119th season of the modern era is now fully underway. Here are some game notes from today’s action.
Mets 2, Nationals 0. Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer dueled, and Robinson Cano homered in his first NL AB. Both starters reached double-digit K’s, just the second such opening day game (this and other references to opening day games are since 1908), and the first since Dave McNally and Sudden Sam McDowell in 1970.
Yankees 7, Orioles 2. New York cruised with 2-3-4 hitters Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton and Luke Voit reaching base in 12 of 15 PAs. Voit delivered the key blow with a first inning 3-run shot in his lone AB to join Danny Tartabull in 1994 as the only Yankees to play a complete opening day game and homer in just one AB.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 4. Christian Yelich‘s 3-run blast erased an early Redbird lead, and the Brewers held on (barely) for the win, preserved with an over-the-fence catch by Lorenzo Cain to end the game. Jhoulys Chacin carded the win, aiding his cause with a 5th inning solo shot, the 21st time a starting pitcher has homered on opening day, and first by a Milwaukee starter since Warren Spahn in 1960.
Phillies 10, Braves 4. Rhys Hoskins‘ 7th inning grannie sealed the deal for Philly as Aaron Nola held the Nats to two hits over six innings. It was the third opening day grand slam for the Phillies in the past 10 years, after having none previously.
Tigers 2, Blue Jays 0. Christin Stewart‘s 2-run shot in the 10th provided the margin of victory in a game played in a tidy 2 hours 25 minutes, the fastest extra-inning opening day game since the Giants topped the Padres by the same score in 1975. Starters Jordan Zimmerman and Marcus Stroman both took no-hitters into the 6th inning, with Zimmerman retiring the first 20 Blue Jays before Teoscar Hernandez beat out an infield single. It was the first opening day game with both starters going 7+ scoreless and allowing two hits or less.
Dodgers 12, D-Backs 5. Dodger bats exploded for a record 8 opening day homers, including a pair for both Joc Pederson and Kike Hernandez, the first time two Dodgers have carded multi-home run games on opening day.
Astros 5, Rays 1. George Springer‘s 427 foot 3-run blast was the big blow as all of the game’s runs scored via the long ball. Justin Verlander went 7 strong innings to improve his opening day record to 4-1 in eleven starts, including wins in each of the past three seasons.
Cubs 12, Rangers 5. Javier Baez paced the Cub attack with a pair of long balls as Jon Lester evened his opening day record at 2-2 in eight starts. Baez becomes just the 5th shortstop to homer twice on opening day, but the third in the past four seasons.
Padres 2, Giants 0. Wil Myers provided all the offense with a two run blast, and the San Diego bullpen held the G-men to a single hit over four innings in support of starter Eric Lauer as the Padres logged just their third opening day team shutout.
Twins 2, Indians 0. Jose Berrios outdueled Corey Kluber with Marwin Gonzalez‘s 7th inning two-run double providing the margin of victory. It was the Twins’ first opening day team shutout since Jim Perry blanked the White Sox in 1970.
Rockies 6, Marlins 3. Colorado’s 4-run fourth inning, aided by three Marlin errors, supported Kyle Freeland‘s 7 innings of two-hit ball. The Marlins added a pair of pinch-home runs late, the first team to do so on opening day.
Reds 5, Pirates 3. A pair of 7th inning homers powered the Reds to a come-from-behind win. Cincinnati used 7 pitchers, the most ever by the Reds in winning a 9-inning opening day game.
Mariners 12, Red Sox 4. Seattle improved to 3-0 for just the fourth time in franchise history, ambushing Chris Sale with a 7 run attack over the first 3 innings. Boston becomes the first defending World Series champion to give up 12 or more runs in an opening day loss. Quiz: which four defending league champions have done the same?