Skip to content

And That Happened: Sunday’s scores and highlights

Apr 1, 2013, 5:50 AM EDT

Houston Astros fans celebrate Ankiel's home run during their MLB game against Texas Rangers in Houston

Astros 8, Rangers 2: The fundamental problem with baseball opening with a lone, prime time game is that everyone is watching it. And with all of the attention on one game, people are bound to overanalyze it, draw ridiculous conclusions and reach hard to make meaningful statements because, hey, if it’s the only game it must be important, yes?

Well, no, obviously. Unless you think Justin Maxwell is going to hit 324 triples, Matt Harrison is going to strike out over 300 batters while posting an ERA of 8 and Erik Bedard‘s three-inning save represents the return of John Hiller-esque firemen. No one believes any of that stuff. But with everyone watching ESPN and listening to Orel and John and Dan comparing journeymen to Derek Jeter and lauding this or that play as “a big league play” or what have you, it felt like something more than Houston vs. Texas.

And thankfully it was just one night of it. Today begins lots of baseball most days, with most games not mattering a whole hell of a lot. Which is kind of nice.

  1. blacksables - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:06 AM

    Welcome back.

    • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:01 AM

      It was a fun game to watch. It was great to have designatedhitterball back as an appetizer for the real baseball that’s going to be played today – you know, a milder, slightly dumber version of the genuine article that lets you get reacclimated to the game you love after a long layoff, without taxing your mind too much with matters of pitching strategy or decisions involving offensive alternatives under pressure and high drama.

      I’m ready for the real stuff now. Baseball season! Let it begin….

      • blacksables - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:15 AM

        Well said.

      • thegreatstoneface - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:31 AM

        i dunno. seems to me it’s harder to take a pitcher out cuz he needs to be removed…rather than the automatic changes dictated by where in the lineup we’re at in a given inning.

        but…at least they’re playing games that count in both leagues again.

  2. natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    Well, I got a big kick out of some ex-Nats (including Bo Porter) beating the mighty Texans. But it does show why a one-off Wild Card game is NOT where you want to be at the end of a season.

    • randygnyc - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:57 AM

      More than that, it shows why a one game play-in is inherently unfair. Two teams playing could be on completely different levels. What’s to say a wild card team could trail a division leader by one game. Both teams with over a hundred wins. WC team could theoretically have a better record than every other team in baseball, except their division leader. Then, that WC team could play the other WC team who could be at or below .500. So, over a 162 game season, good WC team could be 20 games better than the other WC team. Then, anything can happen in a single game. From an injury, to one bad pitch or even a blown call. It’s tragically unfair. Not many people feel the urgency to change this like I do. That’ll come when this actually occurs. No games played after the regularly scheduled season ends should be left to anything less than a 3 game series. A division tie breaker is another story, because technically, the regular seasons standings still need to be determined.

      • professormaddog31 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        No, you’re not the only one, Randy.

        Signed, Braves fan whose birthday was ruined by a one-game playoff series.

    • natstowngreg - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:51 AM

      Glad Bo won his first game as a manager. Wish him well.

  3. tc4306 - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:14 AM

    It was a night to remember for Porter, the baby faces on the Astros, and Astros fans. For them, so much better that it happened on the big stage than to struggle to their first win about game seven of the season. Happy for them because while this was a night to remember, they’re looking at a long season filled with nights to forget.

  4. proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:39 AM

    The Astros are on top of the AL standings. Who allowed that powerhouse team into the AL?

  5. tribester - Apr 1, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    That cat must’ve been on to something when it picked the Astros.

    • 4d3fect - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:41 AM

      That cat must have been on something when it picked the Astros.

      FTFY

  6. proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:06 AM

    I feel sorry for fans of the teams which begin their season on April Fools Day. It is very likely that their teams will not win the World Series.

  7. greymares - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:13 AM

    Kind of like reading a Craig Calcaterra post, not really much substance and means nothing in the big picture

    • snowbirdgothic - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:09 AM

      “The food is terrible here. And such small portions!”

  8. darthicarus - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:19 AM

    Rick Ankiel is on pace to hit 162 pinch hit HR. I think that’s a record.

  9. gvots - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:23 AM

    And-That-Happened! Clap-Clap ClapClapClap

    • natstowngreg - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:49 AM

      ATH, a Sign of Spring. Our long winter’s nightmare is over.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:09 AM

        Quick – get that man a hotdog.

  10. charlutes - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:41 AM

    Why are you being so aggressively negative? Baseball is back and instead of rejoicing you guys write, worst opening day starters, you slam the umps after an inning and you whine about the Astros winning a game because you’re afraid that the masses, without the privilege of your higher level of thinking, will over analyse the game, which btw is your job description? Get real.

    • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:16 AM

      Hmmmm, well….I’m guess it is because “Harrison-Norris” is not the typical set of names people associate with opening day starts, and because the umps fucked up some easy calls, not even waiting an entire inning into the MLB season to do it. But you are wrong that this represents whining, it was just a statement of fact that how a team looks in game 1 is not enough information on which to change an opinion held 3 hrs before.

      There are approximately 12 kajillion outlets online to read about baseball news, instead of hanging around a place you don’t like and bitching after 1 game has been played, why not take this opportunity to find a place where you feel more comfortable. Maybe http://www.rosecoloredglassed.com

  11. janessa31888 - Apr 1, 2013 at 7:46 AM

    That was lame. I was hoping for a summary and got an explanation of how meaningless the game was. So what actually happened? Some of us were not able to watch the game.

    • natslady - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:04 AM

      Get used to it. There are plenty of sites that will give you summaries of the game(s). Craig’s specialty is to snark off whatever happens. Sometimes it’s actually humorous.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:12 AM

      Perhaps if you read the site more regularly you would have seen this last night, moments after the game ended:

      http://hardballtalk.nbcsports.com/2013/03/31/astros-kick-off-the-2013-season-with-a-victory/

      • 4d3fect - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:43 AM

        Don’t count on it, Craig.

  12. kelshannon19 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:04 AM

    Can’t believe Craig didn’t mention his new favorite jerseys in “decades”.

  13. jlovenotjlo - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    Sometimes you don’t have to be so negative. Sure, a single baseball game taken by itself is not indicative of how good/bad a team is. But, isn’t it at least kind of cool that the Astros, sporting their slick new jerseys after an offseason of being picked to lose 110 games, took it to the powerhouse Rangers on Opening Day in front of a national audience?

    It might be meaningless as far as analysis goes, but c’mon, things like this are one of the many things that make baseball awesome. Let’s just enjoy it, and maybe even be happy for the Astros.

  14. charlutes - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    So because you did actually write a game review you think that justifies spewing out a bunch of negative blogs? You’re just snarking at everything like you are perfect. Have you ever umped a baseball game at any level? Grow up.

    • Craig Calcaterra - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:55 AM

      No, what justifies me doing it is that it’s my job to write whatever the hell I want to write. If you don’t like it, there’s the door.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:43 AM

      What does umping have to do with writing? Hands up if you want to read Joe West essays. I thought not.

  15. paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:19 AM

    Damn, better bust out the pom-poms, along with some milk and cookies.

    • Kevin S. - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:24 AM

      Don’t forget the orange wedges.

      • professormaddog31 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:38 AM

        Everyone gets a ribbon.

    • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:44 AM

      What?

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:56 AM

        People bitching that everything isn’t rah rah rah with attaboys all around. Kevin’s addendum was perfect.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:00 AM

        I think you lost me, but I totally support your desire to play with pompons.

  16. stex52 - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:31 AM

    There is one possible good result. Right now, because negotiation for the broadcast contract are at an impasse, 60% of the Houston area cannot see the games. Maybe a few wins at the start will get a groundswell going that settles the contract disputes.

    I know this is a transition year at best. But it would be good to see them play some.

  17. papacrick - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:41 AM

    After the spring training they had, seemed worth the risk to lay some dough on the Astros win more than 54 games

    • jlovenotjlo - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:47 AM

      They’re already 1.85% of the way there. Money in the bank!

  18. philliesblow - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:42 AM

    Nice to see a John Hiller reference. My favorite player when I was a kid.

    • proudlycanadian - Apr 1, 2013 at 8:52 AM

      John Hiller is in the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame. The current Major League saves leader (Eric Bedard) is also a Canadian.

      • Ari Collins - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:20 AM

        Coincidence? Or MURDER?!

  19. qacm - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    As of now, the Houston Astros are the only undefeated team in American League history.

  20. sportsdrenched - Apr 1, 2013 at 9:24 AM

    Who let all the newbies post without the proper hazing and initiation?

    The Astros are going to have a rough year let them have their one night of fun and glory. It wasn’t until the Top of the 9th that I realized it was an intra-division game. That’s going to take some getting used to.

    And, if you’re not following @howmanyaltuves on twitter…you should.

    • professormaddog31 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:40 AM

      Yeah, as far as snark goes from Craig, this is weak sauce. I hate to see what happens when he starts trolling Phillies fans hardcore, these noobs are going to freak out.

      See, this is why you read the boards for months before you start posting. Which is what I did. And I’m still finding my place here.

  21. El Bravo - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:07 AM

    ahhhhhhhhh [stretches legs]

  22. aceshigh11 - Apr 1, 2013 at 10:08 AM

    Who the hell is John Hitler?

    Oh…HILLER.

    • umrguy42 - Apr 1, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      There’s also Mr. Hilter, running in the Minehead elections…

  23. irishdodger - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    As others have posted, i like the John Hiller reference. For Opening Day, I prefer the weekday start in the middle of the day. I think traditionally, the Reds always kicked off the season w/ a noon start. Great memories for dads & sons to take a day off from work/school & enjoy Opening Day…assuming it’s not 44 degrees & snowing.

  24. spudchukar - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:32 AM

    Never have understood the Zombie craze, but Rick Ankiel is starting to make me take notice. This guy has risen from the ashes so many times as to redden a Phoenix. Webster should show a picture of him next to the definition of the word Perseverance.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to read sometime in the 2020’s that Rick Ankiel has made a MLB roster as a LOOGY. The dude is just getting started.

    • professormaddog31 - Apr 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM

      Rick Ankiel is one of those guys, no matter what team he plays for, I’m gonna root for him. It takes a lot of guts and (dare I say it?) grit to do what he’s done over the years.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2013 at 12:07 PM

        Yeah, and if you know anything about the environment in which he was raised, you would be even more appreciative. I will always root for him, cause this dude has overcome much more than most.

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Patience finally paying off for Royals fans
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (3071)
  2. G. Stanton (2244)
  3. N. Arenado (2110)
  4. A. Rizzo (2095)
  5. J. Hamilton (2088)
  1. C. Kershaw (2031)
  2. M. Trout (1979)
  3. D. Ortiz (1888)
  4. A. Pujols (1778)
  5. H. Ryu (1735)