Out of the 12 games scheduled yesterday, the highest margin of victory was four. There were two extra inning games, and save situations all over the place. Furthermore, the highest run total for any team was 7, which two teams achieved. Going crazy about this being a pitcher’s league all over again might be a little much a week into the season, but so far, tht’s holding up pretty well.
Game of the Night: Yankees 5, Orioles 4 (12 innings). Baltimore got staked to an early lead, thanks to an awful start from Freddy Garcia, going up as much as 4-1 behind a solid American debut from Wei-Yin Chen. But then in the sixth, Chen tired and the Yankees tied it up, with two of the three runs coming off of non-hit plays. With the game tied at 4 after six innings, the teams remained scoreless until the 12th, when Raul Ibanez doubled in Robinson Cano to give the Yankees the lead and eventually, the victory. The Yankees bullpen should be commended in their effort relieving Garcia, as they threw 7 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits and walking two along with 12 strikeouts.
Pitching Line of the Night: There were a few shutouts last night, so let’s start from the top. Neftali Feliz’s major league debut as a starter went about as well as he could have imagined. Feliz only got one run of support from his teammates, but he went seven scoreless, allowing four hits, two walks, and four strikeouts. Danny Duffy of the Royals had an even better start against the A’s, going six scoreless with one hit, four walks, and eight strikeouts. Over in Los Angeles, Clayton Kershaw had a typical outing for him: seven innings, four hits, one run, no walks, and seven strikeouts. Ho hum. He’d get a no decision, but the Dodgers got the victory.
Hitting Line of the Night: It might not have been the sexiest overall line of the night, but Chipper Jones’s season debut in his last year couldn’t have gone much better. The Braves third baseman went 2/4 with a homer and two RBI in propelling the Braves to their first win of the season. Across the diamond, Carlos Lee reached base five times and had a pair of RBI for the Astros. Jayson Werth of the Nationals had four hits, and Edwin Encarnacion of the Blue Jays reached base three times, including once on a homer.
Series Spotlight: Tigers 5, Rays 2. Matt Moore’s start went OK, as he only allowed two runs in 6 2/3 innings, but walked five with four strikeouts. Moore was running on fumes on the seventh inning, and a game-tying homer by Austin Jackson ended his day. Rick Porcello’s day might have actually been better, going seven and allowing two runs, just one walk, and four strikeouts. The Rays bullpen then imploded in the eighth and allowed three to the Tigers high octane offense on four hits. Jose Valverde finished it up in the ninth, and that was that. The Rays only walked one time all game and had just one extra base hit, in comparison to five walks for the Tigers and an also-low two extra base hits. It was a very well-pitched game that the Tigers came out on top of thanks to a series of good fortunes.
Other Games: The Dodgers edged the Pirates 2-1 on a late Andre Ethier homer. The Cardinals beat the Reds 3-1 behind a pair of homers by David Freese and Carlos Beltran, and solid pitching from Kyle Lohse. Kyle Drabek had a successful return to the majors, and Daniel Bard didn’t do too hot as the Red Sox fell to the Blue Jays 7-3. Arizona beat San Diego 4-2 in extra innings. The Brewers scored five in the first, and that was enough to beat the Cubs 7-4.
Today’s Games: For the first time all season, we have a full slate of games. Hooray! Jon Lester and Ricky Romero will duel in Toronto, Jaime Garcia and Johnny Cueto in Cincinnati, James Shields vs Justin Verlander in Detroit, and Stephen Strasburg vs Johan Santana highlight the early games on the schedule. Yovani Gallardo and Ryan Dempster duel in a solid mid-afternoon matchup, and Roy Halladay versus Josh Johnson highlights the night games.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.