Samstag, 10. Mai 2014

MLB Opening Day: MLB 9 Innings

MLB opening day started yesterday for most major league teams, and it was quite a day. Dramatic endings to games, high scoring affairs, major league records set, three challenges, and interesting crowd reactions. All of them made for another great opening day to the baseball season.
Walk-Off Heroes
Alex Gonzalez became an instant hero with the Detroit Tigers. After being signed to replace the injured Jose Iglesias, Gonzalez rewarded the Tigers with a game-tying triple in the seventh, and then won the game with a single in the ninth. In Pittsburgh, 2B Neal Walker broke a scoreless tie in the tenth, and the Pirates beat the Chicago Cubs 1-0.
Welcome Back
Two players suspended for PED use last season, were welcomed back by home crowds. Ryan Braun received a standing ovation from Milwaukee Brewers fans during his first plate appearance. Later, he would single and score a run, in a 2-0 win over the Atlanta Braves.  Nelson Cruz made his debut for the Baltimore Orioles, and hit a go-ahead homerun in the seventh that gave Baltimore a 2-1 win over the Red Sox. He was enthusiastically cheered after the homerun, by the home crowd.
Record in Futility
The Oakland Athletics lost their tenth straight opening day game, when they fell 2-0 to the Cleveland Indians. Closer Jim Johnson gave up two hits and a hit batsman in the ninth to take the loss. Oakland has scored just 13 runs in those 10 loses, and has lost 17 of their last 21 MLB opening day games.
The Shutout Winners
The Pirates were not the only team to have a 1-0 MLB opening day win. The St. Louis Cardinals got a homerun from catcher Yadier Molina, and Adam Wainright threw 7 shutout innings for the victory over the Cincinnati Reds. Cleveland beat Oakland 2-0, and Milwaukee beat Atlanta 2-0 as well.
Big Bat Day
Four teams scored at least 10 runs in their MLB opening day game. Unfortunately for the Rangers, they were the only team to lose their game. The Philadelphia Phillies outscored Texas 14-10, as four Ranger pitchers finished that game with ERAs of at least 9. The Phillies pounded 17 hits and 3 HR, and the Rangers added 14 hits.  In Los Angeles, the Mariners got 11 strikeouts from Felix Hernandez, and the Mariners scored 10 runs on 11 hits, in a 10-3 victory over the Angels. The Miami Marlins got 10 runs off 14 hits in a win over the Colorado Rockies. Marlins ace Jose Fernandez, who is considered a strong candidate for the NL Cy Young award, gave up 5 hits in 6 innings, and struck out 9.
Three other teams scored 9 runs in victory yesterday. The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2. David Price stuck out 6 in 7.1 IP. The San Francisco Giants held off the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-8. Buster Posey had a big 2-run HR to clinch the victory. In New York, Stephen Strasburg struck out 10, but also gave up 5 hits and 4 runs in 6 innings. Yet, the Mets could not hold off the Washington Nationals, who won 9-7. 2B Anthony Rendon had 4 RBI for the Nats.
Throw the Flag
Three challenges occurred during yesterday’s games. The first ever regular season challenge happened during the Pittsburgh Pirate – Chicago Cub game. Cubs’ manager Rick Renteria challenged a close call at first, which was upheld. Later in the day, Rays’ manager Joe Maddon challenged a call in his game against the Blue Jays. That call was overturned, making Maddon the first manager to successfully challenge a call.
It was an exciting MLB opening day yesterday, and is a great indicator that it is going to be a great season on the diamond.

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