Bad habits are hard to break, while ligaments are easily torn. There’s a mood of change in the game right now; why not just ban sliding into first base? Meanwhile, a night of heroic home runs and unsung long relief. But first … “Enough of your borax, Poindexter; we need action!“
Brewers 10, @Phillies 4 — Ryan Braun quit his all-singles diet and snapped a career-long 25-game tater famine, ripping three HRs for 7 RBI in the Phils’ first game at home. The cheers must have been deafening.
- Braun brought to The Bank a .392/1.189 mark, and now has 10 HRs in 20 games there.
This post is for voting and discussion in the 54th round of balloting for the Circle of Greats (COG). This round adds to the ballot those players born in 1927. Rules and lists are after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
Last round it was AL second baseman Lou Whitaker nudging out 1960s NL pitching star Sandy Koufax to win induction. This round it was AL second baseman Bobby Grich nudging out 1960s NL pitching star Juan Marichal to win induction. Grich becomes the 53rd member of the High Heat Stats Circle of Greats. More on Bobby and the voting after the jump. Read the rest of this entry
Lots of dueling on Sunday, but first….
Diamondbacks 5, @Rockies 3 — Mark Trumbo homered in a 4th straight game, for a share of the club record and a personal milestone — and this time, the Snakes actually won. They’d lost his first four HR games by a combined 20 runs. Wade Miley went 8 strong for his (and his team’s) 2nd win, and had his first 3-hit game, the first by a hurler this year.
Mariners 3, @A’s 1 / @Marlins 5, Padres 0 — Right now, for this one season, would you take Felix Hernandez, or Jose Fernandez? The choice might turn on quality of bullpen backing; Felix can go a little deeper into games. Miami’s 5-1 start ties the franchise record; 4 runs or more each game already matches last year’s best such streak. Seattle’s 4-1, their best git-go since 2001.
- Jose has yielded 16 runs in 110.2 IP at home, a 1.14 ERA.
- Felix has won his first two starts for just the 2nd time in 10 seasons.
With a strong start out of the gate from their pitching staff, overcoming a series of major injuries from expected contributors, the Atlanta Braves have tied the Yankees at the top of the regular season standings for the period 2010-2014. Through the first five games of the season, Braves starters have a 1.42 ERA, showing up the team’s relievers, who are all the way back at a 1.46 ERA.
Top 5 Cumulative Regular Season Win-Loss Records, 2010 Through April 4, 2014:
|Team||Wins||Losses||Winning Percentage||Games Behind|
For the second straight year, no team has started 0-4. Each of the prior 12 seasons had at least one such stumble from the gate. Friday’s three 10-run margins were the first of the young campaign.
@Marlins 8, Padres 2 — One of Giancarlo’s trademark rockets gave Miami an early 2-0 lead, and they never looked back. Salty shook things loose with a 2-out, 2-run double in the 3rd for his first Marlins RBI, after pouncing on this high-hop bunt and turning two in the top half.
|1||Jose Abreu||2014-03-31||CHW||MIN||W 5-3||4||4||1||2||1||0||0||1||0||0||4||1B|
With the above game log, Jose Abreu became the 552nd player since 1914 to make his major-league debut as a starter on opening day, and the only one to do so in 2014. That’s 552 out of more than 14,000 major-leaguers who have debuted in the past 101 seasons (and only the eighth of those 552 with a 4-1-2-1 box score line).
The great majority of major-leaguers debut less auspiciously, perhaps called up mid-season to replace an injured or faltering vet, or as one of a number of hopefuls trying to impress in September. Even those who make the big club coming out of spring training will often see their first action a few games into the season, perhaps as a defensive replacement or pinch-runner, or possibly in a pinch-hitting role in a blow-out game. Only a very few debut in the starting lineup on opening day, baseball’s equivalent of being thrown in the deep end to see if you can swim.
After the jump, more on players who begin their careers as opening day starters.
Games Notes just wants to stay within itself this year. It’s a long season, and we do this every day….
Mariners 8, @Angels 3 — Seattle’s Joe Beimel earned the year’s first no-pitch Hold. Summoned for Raul Ibanez, Beimel instead picked off David Freese to end the 8th with a 3-run lead. (If only Freese had ever been eyewitness to such basepath blundering….)