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And That Happened: Monday’s scores and highlights

Apr 1, 2014, 5:50 AM EDT

Screen Shot 2014-03-31 at 10.55.08 PM AP

Pirates 1, Cubs 0: More like Neil Walkoff, amirite? All goose eggs until the bottom of the tenth when Walker pulled a Mazeroski. Well, it wasn’t quite as significant as that, but you know what I mean.

Phillies 14, Rangers 10: Cliff Lee: eight runs on 11 hits in five innings and the win. Given how many amazing games he’s pitched over the past couple of years only to get a no-decision or a loss thanks to the lack of bullpen or run support, he deserves every bit of this ugly win. Meanwhile, Jimmy Rollins spent all spring being called every name in the book because he’s not a leader and doesn’t always say the right stuff but he hit a grand slam here, so take that leadership.

Brewers 2, Braves 0: A two-run double by Aramis Ramirez in the fourth was all the scoring in this fairly boring, offensively impotent game. Ryan Braun’s big standing O and the temper tantrum’s from the media in its wake was the most exciting thing about it.

Tigers 4, Royals 3: Everyone mocked the Tigers when they traded for Alex Gonzalez last week. And, over the course of months, I question whether Gonzalez is gonna earn his keep. But on this day he was the hero, knocking in the winning run in the ninth. Off Greg Holland, no less. Worth noting that Ned Yost went with the classic “don’t bring your closer in when it’s tied on the road” orthodoxy to begin the inning, but then relented and brought in Holland with two men on. I guess he gets some sort of credit for that even though it ended up not working.

Nationals 9, Mets 7:  Anthony Rendon hit a three-run homer in the 10th and drove in four overall. It doesn’t get to the tenth if Bobby Parnell doesn’t blow the save in the form of a two-out double to Denard Span in the ninth. But hey, at least it got that far.

Orioles 2, Red Sox 1: A big day for Grady Sizemore, but Nelson Cruz was the hero here, hitting the tiebreaking homer in the seventh. Tommy Hunter made it mildly interesting in the ninth, but locked down the save. As I was watching it, I pictured Grant Balfour watching the game in the Rays’ clubhouse, saying “Yeah, blow the save, mate! Blow the bloody save!”

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $70,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Tuesday’s MLB games. It’s $25 to join and first prize is $9,000. Starts at 6:40pm ET on TuesdayHere’s the FanDuel link.

Cardinals 1, Reds 0: Great start from Wainwright, shutdown bullpen work, big hit from Molina. Yep, these are the Cardinals. Billy Hamilton led off for the Reds and went 0 for 4 with 4Ks. So, yeah, that experiment is off to a bumpy start.

Rays 9, Blue Jays 2: If you bought stock in 2012 Cy Young Award winners, I hope you bought it in David Price and not in R.A. Dickey. Price took a shutout into the eighth before he hit a wall. Still only gave up two runs. Dickey, on the other hand walked six dudes and allowed six runs on five hits.

White Sox 5, Twins 3Alejandro De Aza hit two homers and Jose Abreu had two hits. Also, some tech fun: The Twins’ replay system suffered two blown fuses which messed up the monitors in the their clubhouse. Lucky for everyone, though, this one wasn’t close.

Marlins 10, Rockies 1: Jose Fernandez struck out nine and allowed one run in six innings and Marcell Ozuna [altogether now] was a triple short of the cycle. Fernande’z grandmother Olga, who is from Cuba and with whom he had a tearful reunion this past winter, was at the game. The cameras showed her more than most of the Rockies. This was probably the smart move. She’s adorable.

Mariners 10, Angels 3: Mike Trout hit a homer and drove in a couple but Justin Smoak drove in three and King Felix struck out 11. It was close until late when Seattle put up six in the ninth to win their eighth consecutive opener. Which, given how Seattle has done over the past few years, tells you all you need to know about the value of winning the opener.

Indians 2, Athletics 0: Cubs-Pirates West. All zeroes until the ninth when Nyjer Morgan hit a sac fly and Nick Swisher singled in a run for insurance. Both runs came off the A’s new $10 million closer Jim Johnson, who started the carnage off with a walk, a single and a hit-by-pitch before Morgan and Swisher came up. Justin Masterson shut out the A’s for seven. Yeah, Cleveland, that’s not a guy to whom you want to give a short, team-friendly contract extension. Oy. The loss is Oakland’s tenth straight on Opening Day. Which, given how Oakland has done over the past few years, tells you all you need to know about the value of winning the opener.

Giants 9, Diamondbacks 8: San Francisco was down 7-3 heading into the seventh before the Giants woke up and put their rally caps on and put up four on Brandon McCarthy, Oliver Perez and Brad Zeigler. Buster Posey put the Giants ahead for good with a two-run homer in the ninth. All four of the runs Giants starter Madison Bumgarner gave up were unearned because apparently it was defense-optional night at Chase Field. But when you have Buster Posey that stuff can be overcome. The Dbacks catcher was pretty good too. Miguel Montero had three hits and reached base five times.

  1. thetoolsofignorance - Apr 1, 2014 at 5:58 AM

    Grady Sizemore continues to impress. Mike Trout is off to a hot start. David Price is still The Man. The Dodgers didn’t play last night and I feel ripped off. That’s about the size of it for yesterday for me

  2. megary - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:11 AM

    Hamilton plays for the Reds…but you were just trying to see if we are all paying attention.

    • paperlions - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:32 AM

      Despite the K’s, he improved throughout the game. He struck out on 4, 4, 4, and 5 pitches, and he had 0,1,1, and 2 balls in those ABs.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:34 AM

        I bet he has 2 balls every at bat. He doesn’t just have normal balls either, they’re speedballs.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:56 AM

        What do the Reds and Joe Jackson have in common? They are both Choo-less. Not that the Cards put on an offensive exhibition in the opener. But one misplaced cutter, and a missed opportunity by the Reds allowed St. Louis to escape Game 1 in Cincy unblemished.

        After Molina’s homer in the 7th, the Reds looked to be in good shape to at least tie the game, after Wong let a well struck two hopper by Votto get past him by the second base bag, on a ball that looked like a sure double play as it left the bat, following a lead-off walk to Phillips putting runners on first and third.

        Then came the play of the game. Bruce impatiently jumped on a Wainwright cutter bouncing to first, Phillips going on contact, I guess, was trapped off third, and Adams handled the run down perfectly, forcing the Reds’ second baseman back to third not allowing the runner on first to advance to third. Wainwright then got Ludwig to bounce into a force out, that should have been a double play, but Adams dropped the throw. But again the Reds failed to capitalize on the Cards’ error as Frazier was called out.

        The Cards tried to hand the game to Cincinnati, 4 walks by Waino, although one was intentional, and two others of the kinda intentional/unintentional variety, and three errors, the two aforementioned, and a dropped looping liner in the left center gap by Bourjos. To his credit, he ranged far into shallow right center in the first to save a run on blooper by Bruce.

        Most of the rest of the action was dominated by Cueto and Wainwright who both consistently caught hitters looking for the breaking balls and then beaten by heat and cutters. It wasn’t a pretty approach by hitters on either team, although Adams, who spent the Winter and Spring working on his opposite field stroke found success by going the other way twice, with a single and double.

        And then the bull pen took over, and the Cards escaped with the 1-0 victory.

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        The drop by Bourjos was disappointing, but doesn’t get within 20 feet of that ball. The missed double plays were infuriating, but Adams played the rundown perfectly….that was beautiful…and watching Martinez walk to the dugout before the called strike 3 was even made was nice.

        The Cards hit a number of balls hard that were right at people. The increased athleticism was apparent on a few plays yesterday, and was nice to see.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

        Think you forgot the word/player Jay, but I agree completely, and Adams indeed handled the run-down “poifectly”. I know the decision to move Martinez to the pen wasn’t popular, but since he cannot pitch 200 innings, I would prefer to have him set up Rosy until Motte is back in form, and wouldn’t you rather have Martinez starting in September than April?

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:32 AM

        If the plan for Martinez works, and he is in the pen for a while and then stretched out upon Motte’s return so that he gets about 170 total IP….I will be ecstatic….my fear is that he’ll be left in the pen out of “need” rather than to maximize his value this year and next and next year we’ll be in the same spot with respect to worry about his innings total.

    • jm91rs - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:10 AM

      I have to imagine it was a pretty nervous day for Billy Hamilton. Analysts all season off season have said he’s the key to the Reds chances, and then the opening day jitters for a guy that really only played in the majors as a pinch runner until the games didn’t matter anymore. Hopefully he can settle down and work a few more pitches.

  3. thedoubleentandres - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:12 AM

    That Mets game was a heartbreaker. Up 4-2 in the 7th, couple relievers come on and make an absolute mess, tie game. Then Valverde comes on with the bases loaded and gets Zimmerman out to end the inning…fantastic stuff.
    Juan Lagares hits a homer next inning 5 4, Valverde has another scorless inning, then instead of keeping him in they go with Parnell in the 9th and he blows it.
    Mustv’e been an amazing game for the neutral tbf

    • NatsLady - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:28 AM

      It was fun for us… Scary, but fun. Dillon Gee mostly out-pitched Strasburg, but Collins didn’t leave Gee in to get out of the jam in the 7th even though he was only at 100 pitches.

      Williams DIDN’T bring his closer into an away game (Soriano never pitched) SO+++>
      Aaron Barrett made his debut in the 9th inning of a 5-5 game on Opening Day. Retired the side on 11 pitches (2 strikeouts). And now you know why he made the team out of spring training.

      • thedoubleentandres - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:38 AM

        Barrett was pretty impressive, especially the sinker or slider or whatever it is but the game should’ve been over.
        Valverde’s stuff was great, when he struck out Harper on 3 pitches I was going crazy. Theres no way the mets can use Parnell as their closer this year with that velocity.

        I turned it over for a couple minutes when it went to extra innings and when I turned it back on the stadium was empty lol 9 5

      • timmmah10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:15 AM

        Wait… this guy wanted to keep Valverde in? Have you ever seen his numbers in more than one inning, let alone going into a third inning of work?

      • thedoubleentandres - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:39 AM

        No buddy, sorry to say I’m relatively new to the sport, I didn’t know he was a one inning guy, he just looked awesome when he was on and Parnell most certainly did not.

  4. dondada10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 6:26 AM

    Please get rid of that “editor’s note.” It’s bush league.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:21 AM

      That silly promo is part of what pays the bills in these parts, helps keep words on screens.

      Keep ATH – keep words on screens – tolerate the crass commercialism, my man.

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:19 AM

        Get it off this site and paint it on the side of a city bus where it belongs instead.

      • sophiethegreatdane - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:46 AM

        I doubt this blog is bankrupting NBC Sports.

        We all put up with A LOT of crass commercialism on this blog as it is. A quick scan of this one single page reveals 8 different ads in my browser. Do we really need one more — with a misleading descriptor as an “editors note” — embedded within the text of the blog?

        I agree with dondada — it’s bush league.

    • clydeserra - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      you hate advertising, you hate America.

      • clemente2 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:24 PM

        I heard from barrywhereufrom that only commies hate advertising

  5. dirtyharry1971 - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:02 AM

    The jays game was my favorite, its gonna be a long long season in Toronto. Personally I don’t even think they reached rock bottom yet which im happy to say, now I want to see Mark and his 78MPH fastball get crushed and lets start this season 0-2 baby!! Can you say 0-2? You bet you can!!

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:23 AM

      A team didn’t reach rock bottom in the first game? Even for you that’s utterly drenched in idiocy and asininity.

    • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:33 AM

      Can we say that you’re a relentlessly boring, puerile, hopelessly repetitive little illiterate jackass? Sure we can. And we can do something else that you can’t: we can spell and punctuate properly.

    • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:04 AM

      If the Jays haven’t reached rock bottom, I expect them to have company. It was the Canadian squad that handed your Yanks two defeats in the final week of ST, you know when the games start to indicate what a team will enter the season with.

      Certainly not a good start by the Jays, but it was in Tampa Bay, and now the Yanks only trail the Florida talent by 1/2 game. It might just be as close as they get all year. Take a good look at the Rays while you can DH, soon they will be so far out in front you will struggle to see them. But struggling to see clearly is something that comes natural to you so you have the edge there. Good to see you are in mid-season form DH, spewing your vitriolic inanities.

      • yankees218 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

        Yeah cause we all know how important Spring Training games are. Games where starters play all of 4 innings? Enjoy those oh so meaningful wins!

  6. patshal - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:10 AM

    Great day in baseball

  7. cohnjusack - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:14 AM

    Wainwright gave up 4 walks yesterday!

    …last year, Wainwright gave up his 4th walk on the season on May 11th

  8. crispybasil - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:31 AM

    It’s nice to wake up to an “And That Happened” again.

  9. Eutaw's Finest - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    Great home opener for the O’s yesterday! Who would’ve thought with that collection of bats at OPACY we’d see a 2-1 game?

    Fun fact: the Orioles are now 7-1 against Lester in his last 8 starts. Yikes.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:12 AM

      Glad you’re having fun picking cherries there. Lester is 15-4 vs. Baltimore lifetime in 26 starts.

      Chris Tillman was throwing pure dinger-meat but the wind held a half dozen Red Sox fly balls to the warning track. Can’t stress enough how terrible Tillman was if you actually watched the game.

      The O’s are much-improved but still don’t have the starting pitching to contend in the AL East.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:55 AM

        Eesh… somebody woke up on the wrong side of the bed I see…

        Now my Lester stat was wrong. I apologize and regret listening to the local sports broadcaster’s note and taking it as gospel. It should have said “7-1 in games Lester has pitched.” 15-4 career as it may be, Lester is 3-3 since 2011 against Baltimore, which to me is a lot more telling considering his 12-1 from 2010 back is against a completely different squad (Markakis, Jones and Weiters are the only 3 remaining players). Of those 3 remaining players? Adam Jones has a career .321 BA against Lester and Weiters a .340 BA. Just a little Snapple fact.

        And speaking of head to head, the Orioles are also 25-13 in the last 38 against the BoSox, and were the ONLY AL East team last year to have a winning record against Boston.

        As for Tillman, I never said he pitched a gem yesterday. I’ll agree he did not have his best outing and got jammed up in a ton of high counts (which is why he only survived 5) but give that bullpen some credit: 4 innings of 2 hit ball. Not too shabby.

    • scoutsaysweitersisabust - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:49 AM

      I was at the game, three feet to the left of where Sizemore hit his home run. Had a blast. Fantastic game. Not sure what game you were watching Moses, the wind was fairly calm for most of the game (It was bad in the morning, but settled down after the first few innings.) Tillman pitched really well against a good offensive club. Don’t know what more you would ask for, keeping that team to 1 run, but whatever floats your boat.

      And yes, Lester has a good record against the O’s lifetime. Especially the older, really crappy club. This newer, better club he’s struggled with, hence the 7-1 stat. The stat may seem cherry picked to you, but actually tells us some pretty important things.

      • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:00 AM

        Lester was 7-0 in 09/10 combined against such great Orioles players like Corey Patterson…Robert Andino… Ty Wiggington.. Felix Pie… Jake Fox…

        I am just now realizing how terrible this team used to be.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:02 AM

        I’m glad you had a good time. That you were there enjoying the game helps take some of the sting out of it for this Sox fan.

        The wind was swirling up high where it could only reach baseballs and the flags. I think it would be fair to say that on a mid-July day, using the same approach he used yesterday, Tillman would have given up a half-dozen HR’s. Then again, maybe he would use a different approach on a different kind of day.

        It was pretty clear from Tillman’s mound reactions that he was expecting several of those long flies to leave the yard, and wasn’t too pleased with the location of the pitches that yielded said long flies.

  10. sophiethegreatdane - Apr 1, 2014 at 7:33 AM

    Oh ATH, how I’ve missed you!

  11. nymets4ever - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:06 AM

    Why do you keep pushing this utterly idiotic, asinine narrative that Opening Day games don’t matter whatsoever? They are professional baseball games that are played and recorded in statistical records and count towards divisional standings.

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:18 AM

      You, Unclean Harold and the babyfarker are the people pushing utter idiocy and asininity in these parts.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:28 AM

        Enough with the cowardly little anonymous downvotes. Let’s go! You think Opening Day games are completely devoid of meaning? Then challenge me to a debate – let’s get it on!

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:30 AM

        I don’t debate with people who write letters to the editor in crayon.

      • nymets4ever - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:41 AM

        Aww, still trying to avoid the issue, are we? Haha that’s okay tiger, maybe next time you’ll pick an argument you can actually win. Until then, by all means, keep trying to obscure the main debate with your neverending stream of passive-aggressive comments. lol

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:45 AM

        I’m missing the passivity to which you refer.

        Every baseball game is worth 1/162 of a team’s final regular season record. That is how much every game is worth. It’s not a debate or an argument. Just like it’s not a debate or an argument that you’re a fool. That you’re a tiresome fool is just another undebatable fact.

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:35 AM

        I don’t think there was an issue to avoid – except in your own vermoulou alleged brain, Mutts4. Craig never said the games didn’t count in the first place. He said opening day games weren’t important, as in, they don’t set a tone for the rest of the season. Here now, see, I’m being as basic as possible in my explanation because I want to give you credit for incomprehension instead of accusing you of sententiousness. Otherwise, I’d have to insist that it’s just another straw man you thatched together in your apparently unlimited spare time to release some of the pent-up pressure in your bile duct.

    • paperlions - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:56 AM

      Opening day games count for 1/162 of the games….so, sure, they are as important to win as the 30th game or the 112th game, but there is no such thing as “setting the tone” for a season. Bad teams don’t become better, play better, or win more games than they would have because they win on opening day and good teams don’t become worse, play worse, or lose more games than they would have because the lose on opening day.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        Beautiful Brad’s victory smile, however, was a meaningful start to our season. ;)

      • paperlions - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:02 PM

        Well, sure…but that is because his beatific smile is setting the tone, not an opening day win.

      • historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2014 at 1:32 PM

        He’s smiling because of the win. Isn’t it lovely? We finally found a work around for Verlander’s kryptonite, maybe.

  12. renaado - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:22 AM

    Just watched the Braves this 2am… And let me just say I couldn’t sleep after that,and it’s definitely not about the 3 cups of capuccino why..

    • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:26 AM

      Let me just say – it might be about the cappuccino.

      • renaado - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:38 AM

        Probably… But you could say I’m just in deep thought during that time…

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:39 AM

        Deeply caffeinated thoughts.

      • renaado - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:01 AM

        LoL… :-(

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:25 AM

        I drink my cappuccino iced out of a quart jar up at my local doggery, the world famous Luna Star Cafe in North Macondo, to honor the line from the Grateful Dead’s “Brown Eyed Women:”

        Nineteen twenty went and stepped to the bar
        Drank to the dregs of the whiskey jar…

        I skip the slice of raw potato, though.

      • unclemosesgreen - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:44 AM

        ….looks like the old man is getting on

      • nolanwiffle - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:06 AM

        The bottle was dusty, but the liquor was clean.

      • clemente2 - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:59 PM

        Gone are the days when the ladies said “Please…

  13. southpaw2k - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:34 AM

    I am constantly reminded every April how much I miss And That Happened for the previous 5+ months. It’s such a joy to have that be the first thing I read every morning.

    As for dem O’s hon, I’d like to think that Tommy Hunter had too much sugar in his coffee yesterday, which would explain why he was as erratic as he was before striking out Jackie Bradley. Hopefully that won’t be an omen of how the 9th inning will go for the O’s this season.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:13 AM

      I wouldn’t call him eratic… maybe just a tad bit amped up, which he wound up using to his advantage. He was trying to brush Middlebrooks off the plate and he missed. Guarantee you next time he won’t try to crowd the plate against Hunter.

      Pedroia wouldn’t have gotten on base had the umps realized that he didn’t check his swing on the previous pitch. Tommy looked pretty crisp to me. Jim Johnson would have had a complete meltdown.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:25 AM

      If I’m correct, wasn’t yesterday Tommy Hunter’s first professional save? Hoping those jitters will subside as he continues to get comfy in that role.

      • southpaw2k - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        He was credited with 4 saves last year, though he was certainly not the full-time closer at that point. I’m hoping that you and flavadave are both right – he had Opening Day jitters and he’ll be sharper once he gets into a groove.

      • flavadave10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:42 PM

        Wasn’t his first professional one. I know he got at least two last year- one three inning kind (I think against the Dodgers if I remember correctly) and one two inning save against the Yankees. He was amped up, for obvious reasons, but as I said, he used that to his advantage. He went right after the hitters, so I’d say he was pretty sharp outside of one pitch to Ortiz and one pitch to Middlebrooks.

  14. sdelmonte - Apr 1, 2014 at 8:54 AM

    Glad ATH is back. Would have been much happier if Parnell had gotten one more out. I could look at things and say that Gee pitched well and that Lagares might be finding a bat to match his defense. But losses like that are gonna sting.

    One start does not a season make, and Dickey was a slow starter as a Met, but it’s hard to feel like he is going to turn it around. While it’s just possible that Dickey thrived as a Met because he was in the right league, I have to say that trading him for great prospects instead of re-signing him looks ever more like a brilliant move. He might have simply had only so much greatness in his knuckleball. Here’s hoping I am wrong, though.

  15. bfunk1978 - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:14 AM

    Forgiveness isn’t for the other person; forgiveness is for you: if you hold grudges and throw a temper tantrum every time something good happens to them, it doesn’t hurt them. It only hurts you.

  16. Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:17 AM

    Baseball peegout yesterday – nice to have it back. Macondo Banana Massacre Field reported a sellout crowd, which was a tribute to the draw the young Cuban phenom has become in this town. First, the Feesh took advantage of a sizzling season debut by El Keed, some terrible fielding and relief by the Rocky Mountain Oysters, and a return to last-midseason form by Marcell Ozuna, upon whom Jobu smiled, to blow out their fraternal twins from the high country.

    De La Rosa ackcherly deserved better, matching Fernandez nearly zip for zip into the fourth when his infield came uncottered on a botched squib by the Iron Giant with no one covering first. Enter Wilting Lopez, who served up so many fat goodies to the Feesh batters that you’d think they should have tipped him after the game. Bettis followed Lopez and didn’t fare much better; if that’s the look of the Oysters bullpen it’s going to be a long season in the thin air. Mike Redmond apparently had second thoughts about batting Jeff Baker cleanup and put Mcgehee there instead, and McGehee rewarded his second guess with a bases-clearing three run double down the line (Baker, moved up to bat second, went hitless). El Keed’s vicious rising fastball, which hit 99mph at one point, and that hard slider with a bite like a snapping turtle had the Rockies orf-balance like ballerinas with plantar warts all night, except for that one hanger he threw to Carlos Gonzalez. After Gonzalez’ Gravity’s Rainbow special landed out beyond right center somewhere El Keed was laughing and shaking his head. By then, he had a six run lead and could afford to.

    I doubt if anyone thinks that last night was indicative of the Feesh’s run production for the rest of the season, considering that they’re not always going to be peetched to as if they were backyard boys being encouraged by solicitous daddies. I also doubt that attendance is going to be particularly impressive on nights when our niño miraculoso is resting his mojo. But for one night, it was all good fun in Macondo.

    ESPN2 followed the Feesh with the Seattle-Angels game so, even though it was designatedhitterball, I hung around to watch my old pal Tweeter to see if he would thrive in the cold wet climate of the Pacific northwest and blossom into the offensive juggernaut the Feesh brainstem trust was so sure he would become that they torpedoed a trade with the Cubs for Matt Garza to hang on to him. I was kinda looking forward to watching him pop out with RISP again, just like old times, but he struck out with someone on first instead and, being that it was designatedhitterball after all, I dozed orf.

    • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:16 AM

      Not sure which I find more repulsive; the American League DH, or the other one. Neither are apparently going to disappear though, and so co-existing is the only option. The light and the darkness.

      • groupofsevenrules - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Yes, but a fan of real baseball does not go gentle into that good night.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:59 AM

        DT would be proud, and would hate both DH’s.

  17. apkyletexas - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    “defense-optional night at Chase Field”

    Very funny!

    Dodgers should take note – these are the Giants. Late inning leads against them don’t mean anything.

    • stex52 - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:39 AM

      I was watching for about six innings before the fact that it was a work night chased me to bed. To use Craig’s expression, the SF infield was a real dumpster fire through the first five. I mean embarrassing. But the they pulled it out with big, timely hitting. Quite a surprise. And not good for the Snakes.

  18. sportsdrenched - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Trying not to let Ned’s bullpen mismanagement overshadow my joy of baseball being back in full swing. I may have succeeded.

    There are no day games today, Nooooooooooooooo!

  19. happytwinsfan - Apr 1, 2014 at 9:52 AM

    the only positive i can find in the twins game is that willingham’s last out is described by the yahoo game display as a “fly to deep right”. pretty sad when the highlights are loud outs.

    i look forward to the passing of opening week so most games are in the evening. yesterday at work i felt like general pickett in the movie gettysburg, who after being temporarily blinded after falling off his horse, cries “i can’t see what’s happening to my boys i can’t see what’s happening to my boys!”

    • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:05 PM

      General Pickett was luckier than you.

      • happytwinsfan - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:45 PM

        i know, 1 down 103 to go.

      • Old Gator - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:47 PM

        Are you kidding? General Custer was luckier.

      • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:56 PM

        Thanks for the morning chuckle.

  20. historiophiliac - Apr 1, 2014 at 10:17 AM

    I took the day off of work to enjoy Opening Day baseball. The Tigers game was the free game of the day on MLB.tv. You could watch it on your computer live — but what you couldn’t do was stream it so you could watch in on your TV. Did I take the day off to hunch over my computer to watch the game instead of on my bigger TV? I did not. So, I tweeted my displeasure to the Tigers, MLB and MLBTV. It’s ridiculous that I live 4 hours from KC but I’m blacked out of Royals games. As I understand it from friends who have cable, we can’t even get Royals games anyway. Our cable provider features FoxSW which shows Rangers games in our area.

    Anyway, so I’m okay with just watching other games yesterday and watching mine on delay. I turn on the Pirates game — heartbreaker! Leyland is in Pittsburgh. *sniff I guess it’s just as well; let Beautiful Brad have his day. I got to see the replay delay then. The ruling on the field was upheld; so that was a waste. You know announcers are on the defensive when the best thing they have to talk about is how quickly the review went. Sigh.

    Then I attempted to switch over to the O’s game. Every. few minutes. it would lock up. and. I’d have to. restart the game. I guess the system. was overloaded. from. everyone. wanting to. watch that. game. Argh!!!!! My Hulu was working fine, so I watch Louis CK’s monologue again.

    After class last night, I came home and watched the end of the Angels-Mariners, had a beer, and texted with a couple of buddies. The Angels look tan and beautiful. The Mariners look blah — but I enjoyed watching Cano hustle and dang if the wheels on the bus didn’t skid out for the Angels at the end there. It’s always a pleasure to watch King Felix (but I don’t remember him having so many wild pitches). Hamy non-Chews looked good. My buddies refuse to buy more Little Caesars so we can pay Max too. They got booed. The day ended well.

    • spudchukar - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:17 PM

      I can relate. After spending 6 separate occasions waiting ever so patiently for MLB and Cox Cable to show they really “appreciate my call and patience”, I finally got the Extra Innings package. Yeah the games in Australia and San Diego were on ESPN, so I got to watch without missing an inning, but still all the crap I had to go through in order to order their product was insane. Who is manning the PR department at MLB, and I also don’t appreciate being re-routed to Asia for my calls. Not to mention MLB’s decision to not have even one person to answer their customer service number until 12:00 P.M. A $70 billion industry cannot afford one person before noon? Hey MLB how about trying not to act like an indifferent fat cat?

  21. penguins87and71 - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    It’s great to have baseball back! Expecting big things from my Pirates this year!

  22. APBA Guy - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    The A’s managed to make the obligatory temporary fix to the sewage system at the Mausoleum in time for the 7:07 start time. I was worried about the game coming off, as we had a heavy afternoon thunder storm (thunder is rare out here) but it stopped, thankfully for the full house and TV audience. Walking back from my meeting in SF yesterday I was shocked by the sight of a lone green-and-gold clad guy waiting for his ride to Oakland. I stopped and talked for a second, he had his ticket and planned to get to the park early. And of course as we said good by with the the obligatory “Let’s go, Oakland” the sky just opened up.

    Anyway, Sonny Gray seemed surprised to be pitching, starting the game by walking the first two hitters. But he got out of it, barely, when Santana’s shot to right went foul by a foot or so and Gray managed to get him and Brantley to ground out. After that, Masterson and the Oakland staff traded zeroes until Jim Johnson’s special moment in the 9th: BB, single, HBP. Let’s hope that was opening day nerves and not a preview of our regularly scheduled 9th inning.

    • Eutaw's Finest - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but if you watch the 9th of any given O’s game over the past 2 years? Last night was pretty consistent. Not saying he can’t get the job done- obviously the league leader in saves over that stretch shows he can do it- but it’s never clean. It’s never 1-2-3. It’s never easy. There will always be at least 1 on base, typically 2. And it’s typically with no outs or 1 out. More often than not JJ will find a way to get it done but on occasions you have nights like last night.

      • APBA Guy - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:04 PM

        I did see some of Johnson’s antics over the last few years, and sort of expected to see what happened last night, and will expect to see it a few more times this year. The A’s haven’t really had a “clean” closer in years, so we fans are sort of used to the sloppiness. And Cleveland are no bunch of slouches-they won 92 games last year. Still, it was no fun, and as you probably felt last year when watching Johnson, each time he comes in, you just pray tonight is not the night he blows up.

    • flavadave10 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

      Well I hope that I get a billion dollars and that Kate Upton will marry me, but that isn’t changing the fact that that’s not happening. You can hope that Jim Johnson won’t blow saves in the ninth inning, but that’s not changing the fact that that’s always a very realistic possibility with Jim Johnson.

    • clydeserra - Apr 1, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      After being confused at the stadium, I saw the highlight of the challenge this morning.. I think it highlighted the flaws in the new home plate collision stuff.

      Brantley, the runner was perilously close to targeting Jaso, the catcher, for an “illegal line to home, and Jaso was perilously close to illegally blocking the plate.

  23. phillysports1 - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:20 AM

    Lets go PHILLIES !!!

  24. dillongeeescapeplan - Apr 1, 2014 at 11:24 AM

    New Mets promotion.

  25. jamnew44 - Apr 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    I was happy to see the Nats win, but I won’t get too excited. Gee pitched a great game for the Mets, but his manager left him in one batter too long. The Mets bullpen needs some help.

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