Masahiro Tanaka made his MLB debut on Friday night, and despite some early struggles, the results were impressive. Tanaka allowed three runs before even getting the fifth out of the game against the Blue Jays, but after Jonathan Diaz’s two-run single, Tanaka allowed just two more baserunners over the rest of his seven inning outing – and one was erased on a double play. He finished his night with 13 whiffs on 97 pitches, eight strikeouts, and zero walks in seven innings. Not bad, rookie. Not bad.
Game of the Day: Brewers 6, Red Sox 2. Only three games on Friday night ended in a save situation. There were no walkoffs. So…I’ll go out of the box a little bit, and pick a game that featured a nice little comeback. The Red Sox received their World Series rings before Friday’s game with Milwaukee, and wore gilded uniforms. The game was tied at two heading into the ninth, and Edward Mujica simply imploded for Boston. Khris Davis led off with a double, and Scooter Gennett bunted him over to third, reaching himself on a fielder’s choice. Lyle Overbay doubled the pair home to make it 4-2, and Carlos Gomez singled in Overbay to increase the lead to 5-2. After a Jean Segura fielders choice and a Ryan Braun flyout, Aramis Ramirez singled in Segura to make it a four-run deficit for the Red Sox. Francisco Rodriguez set down the side in order, and Milwaukee earned a solid win – even if Wily Peralta embarrassed himself before the game.
Pitching Lines of the Day: Juan Nicasio turned in a nice start for the Rockies in their 12-2 thrashing of the Diamondbacks, giving up one run on four hits in seven innings, striking out six and walking one. Jake Odorizzi pitched well for the Rays as they thumped the Rangers 8-1, going six shutout innings while allowing three hits, walking three, and striking out four. The aforementioned Tanaka was New York’s savior in their 7-3 win in Toronto, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits in seven innings, punching out eight without a walk. Jordan Zimmermann had a solid, abbreviated start in Washington’s 2-1 loss to Atlanta, allowing one run on four hits in five innings, walking one and striking out nine. Jenrry Mejia of the Mets led them to a 4-3 win over the Reds, giving up one run on four hits in six innings, striking out eight, but walking five.
Hitting Lines of the Day: The story of today was Charlie Blackmon of the Rockies, who went 6/6 with three doubles, a homer, four runs, and five RBI in Colorado’s blowout win over Arizona. His teammate Carlos Gonzalez “only” went 2/4 with two runs, four RBI, a walk, a triple, and a long home run. In Pittsburgh’s 12-2 dismantling of St. Louis, Pedro Alvarez went 2/4 with a pair of homers, three runs, three RBI, a walk, and a stolen base. Lucas Duda powered the Mets in their win over the Reds, going 2/4 with two homers, four RBI, and a walk. Miguel Cabrera picked up his 2,000th career hit in Detroit’s 10-4 win over Baltimore, going 4/5 with a homer and three RBI. The Angels crushed the Astros 11-1, and Josh Hamilton went 3/3 with two runs, three RBI, a walk, and a homer.
Other Games: The Phillies beat the Cubs 7-2, and the Indians beat the Twins by the same score. The Giants doubled up the Dodgers 8-4 amid even more senseless Yasiel Puig drama. The Royals withstood a late White Sox rally to win 7-5. The Marlins beat the Padres 8-2, and Giancarlo Stanton did this. The A’s and Mariners were postponed because of an incompetent grounds crew.
What You Missed: One fan in Pittsburgh saved his dad, and another caught a ball in a bucket of popcorn. Jason Kipnis is going to be an Indian for awhile. Ian wrote about Toronto’s failure to sign Ervin Santana. Pat went through the looking glass to talk about how this year’s Opening Day was different for him as a Pirates fan. I cataloged the five longest homers of the week that was, all of which were made to look insignificant after the events of Friday.
Today’s Games: Johnny Cueto starts for the Reds in Flushing. Michael Pineda finally makes his Yankee debut, and it will come in Toronto against R.A. Dickey. Rick Porcello starts for the Tigers against Bud Norris and the Orioles. Cliff Lee gets the nod for the Phillies in Chicago against Jeff Samardzija. Madison Bumgarner starts for the Giants in Los Angeles. Felix Hernandez takes the hill for the Mariners in Oakland. Julio Teheran and Stephen Strasburg will duel in Washington. Francisco Liriano and the Pirates host the Cardinals. The faceplanting Wily Peralta starts for the Brewers in Boston against Clay Buchholz and the Red Sox. Andrew Cashner and Jose Fernandez will battle in Miami. David Price and the Rays host the Rangers.
National TV: Twins-Indians (1 PM, Fox Sports 1), Giants-Dodgers (4 PM, Fox Sports 1), Cardinals-Pirates (7 PM, MLB Network), Braves-Nationals (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Angels-Astros (7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.