During today’s Phillies home opener, the Philadelphia faithful let Ryan Braun of the Brewers have it. Like, they let Braun *have it* – the boos were deafening. But there’s really no better way to silence a loud, angry crowd than to perform well at the dish, and that’s exactly what the 2011 NL MVP did. In the Brewers’ 10-4 win over the Phillies, Braun went 3/5 with a trio of homers and seven RBI, pacing Milwaukee’s offense and quieting all talk about his injured thumb.
Game of the Night: Pirates 7, Cubs 6. This was a wild, exciting, back and forth game, so it’s no surprise that the Cubs came out on the losing end of things. Pittsburgh blew leads of 4-0 and 6-4, but fought back to load the bases in the eighth and take a 7-6 lead after a sacrifice fly by Russell Martin. After regaining the led, they turned the game over to Mark Melancon and Jason Grilli, who needed a total of 19 pitches to set down six Cubs in order over the final two innings.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Royals rookie Yordano Ventura lived up to the hype, giving up just two hits over six scoreless innings, striking out six without a walk. Chris Archer countered Ventura by pitching seven shutout innings and giving up four hits, walking a pair and striking out four. Bartolo Colon stymied the Braves in New York’s 4-0 win, twirling seven six-hit, shutout innings, punching out five and walking none. Aaron Harang countered Colon by giving up one run on two hits in six innings, walking four and striking out nine. Gio Gonzalez shut down the Marlins hype train, pitching Washington past Miami 5-0 while giving up just three hits, walking two and striking out five.
Hitting Lines of the Day: I already mentioned Braun, who had an unreal performance in Milwaukee’s win in Philly. The duo of Avisail Garcia and Jose Abreu led the White Sox to a 15-3 smashing of the Rockies, as Garcia went 4/5 with two homers and three RBI and Abreu went 2/5 with two homers, five RBI, and a walk. Starlin Castro played well, going 3/3 with two homers and four RBI. Corey Hart threw on his sunglasses in Anaheim in Seattle’s 5-3 win, going 2/4 with a pair of homers and four RBI. David Murphy had a nice night in Cleveland’s 8-5 win over San Diego, going 2/3 with a double, a homer, a walk, three runs, and four RBI.
Other Games: The Orioles steamrolled the Yankees 14-5. The Rangers beat the Red Sox 10-7.The Blue Jays defeated the Astros 5-2 behind the offensive duo of Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista. The Giants continued their offensive rampage, topping the Diamondbacks 7-3. The Cardinals rallied to beat the Reds 7-5. The Dodgers earned a 3-2 walkoff win over the Tigers.
What You Missed: Joey Votto is a friggin’ Mountie. Batkid showed up at the Giants home opener. The most exciting walk offs of the last week. The Dodgers have a mascot – sort of. Tigers reliever Evan Reed is under investigation for an alleged sexual assault. Ryan Zimmerman has an arthritic shoulder. A.J. Ellis will miss 4-6 weeks for the Dodgers, and they have no one to adequately replace him. The West Michigan Whitecaps rebuilt Fifth Third Ballpark. David Robertson is out of commission with a groin strain.
Today’s Games: Shelby Miller starts for the Cardinals against the Reds. Jordan Zimmermann and the Nationals host the Marlins. Matt Garza starts for the Brewers in Philly. Zack Wheeler starts for the Mets in Atlanta against Ervin Santana in his Braves debut. Brendan Morrow and the Blue Jays host the Astros. Masahiro Tanaka and the Yankees host the Orioles. Anibal Sanchez starts for the Tigers in Los Angeles.
National TV: Padres-Indians (12 PM, MLB Network), Athletics-Twins (1 PM, MLB Network), Rangers-Red Sox (4 PM, MLB Network), Astros-Blue Jays (7 PM, ESPN2)
MLB.tv Free Game: White Sox-Rockies (3 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.