MLB Opening Day: Early Games Live Blog
Hi baseball fans. My name is Andy and I do the fantasy football writing around these parts. I don’t know baseball quite like Rotorob does, and I just figured out Hanley Ramirez plays for the Marlins. (Who knew!?) So why am I doing the baseball live blog? Because it’s opening day and if you can’t get psyched up for baseball’s opening day, you should go back to watching Beerfest or Love Actually. Okay, Love Actually is, like, the best chick flick ever, but that’s not the point. It’s opening day and we have a days worth of fun. First, the schedule of early games:
1:05 PM: Atlanta at Philadelphia – Although I am excited now, I’ll be pretty pissed in a couple months when the Braves interrupt my Seinfeld marathons on TBS. Damnit!
1:05 PM: Toronto at Detroit – I’m sure Kenny Rogers’ blood clot had nothing to do with HGH or steroids. Or pine tar.
1:05 PM: Tampa Bay at New York Yankees – Prediction: Delmon Young will be arrested on the field before his career is over.
1:05 PM: Florida at Washington – Always insert pitchers into your starting lineup if they have the Nationals on their schedule. And I mean always, Josh Towers and Adam Eaton owners.
2:05 PM: Cleveland at Chicago White Sox – Indians/Phillies World Series. It’s the year of “Teams that should have been good for the last three seasons but something always goes wrong.”
2:05 PM: L.A Dodgers at Milwaukee – There will be weeks where the Dodgers neither score, nor allow a run. And it will be awesome.
2:05 PM: Chicago Cubs at Cincinnati – I can’t take credit for this sentiment, (Read it on deadspin, I believe) but wouldn’t cutting Kerry Wood and Mark Prior just make every Cubs fan happier?
Anyway, live blog starts after the jump!
12:35 – ESPN reports that Dice K has a tired arm already. Okay, who drafted him as their number one starter and is sort of worried? *Raises hand*
12:41 – Wait…Carl Pavano is starting for the Yankees? I’m calling ‘shenanigans’ right now. Shenanigans! Shenanigans!
12:47 – In Tampa, Rocco Baldelli is going to be the DH and Elijah Dukes gets the start in center. And Jonny Gomes, who gets one home run every four hits, will sit on the bench. Well done Devil Rays.
12:56 – I think Stuart Scott just said “Chock full of nuts.” I’m just saying…
12:59 – The Krukker looks good. Here’s to ’93, man.
1:01 – Couldn’t ESPN keep Barry Bonds out of their corny open? I guess not.
1:11 – Brett Myers’ weight is down from 250 to 240. Watch out Cy Young, it’s on!
1:14 – Rogers is out…what…3 months? That might be an issue as the Jays have two runs across and no outs recorded in the top of the first. Jeremy Bonderman owners have my early sympathy.
1:20 – First A-Rod boos of the year as the wonderboy missed a mile high pop up in foul ground.
1:21 – First A-Rod apologist commentary from the Krukker.
1:27 – A bit of a lull here. Florida put up a run early as that Ramirez guy scored, but other than that, nothing but zeros.
1:33 – More boos for A-Rod as he strikes out. And this is the last time I’ll talk about that subject…
1:35 – Okay, I lied. Pat Burrell tells A-Rod that anything you can do I can do better. He goes down on strikes and hears about it from the Philly faithful.
1:38 – Hey! Runs! Giambi singles in two of em and somehow Tampa and the Yanks are still in the first inning.
1:42 – Miguel Cabrera hits a ground rule double with the bases loaded and the Marlins have amassed a three run lead. Hard to say if this says more about Florida being good or Washington being bad. Probably the latter.
1:49 – John Smoltz and Myers are cruising as the third inning nears a close in Philly. The Phillies ‘ace’ has allowed one hit and the future Brave Hall of Famer (?) has four strikeouts.
1:52 – Periodically throughout the day, RotoRob will chime in with information that might actually be helpful to you fantasy baseball freaks. Here’s his first entry, which totally puts me to shame.
Exhibit A of why spring stats mean jack squat. Lyle Overbay, converted to the two hole this season, struggled badly this spring. So what does he do in his first trip to the plate that counts? He rips an RBI double to put the Jays up 1-0 over defending AL Champion Detroit. That gives Overbay 134 doubles since the start of the 2004 season — tied for the major league lead with Todd Helton. In the top of the second, Overbay draws a walk. Nice start with the Jays getting to Jeremy Bonderman for a 3-0 lead though an inning an a half.
1:56 – And more from RR…it’s about a duck. Maybe I spoke too soon about him…
1:51 – First AFLAC trivia question of the season has me relieved as the duck trots out. I thought I read that they were ditching the duck as their mascot? Thank god sanity prevailed there.
1:58 – With my writer’s jinx firmly in place, Myers gives up the first homer of the day to…umm…Brian McCann. Okay then. 2-0 Braves.
2:00 – Lost in the duck commotion was the D-Rays getting on the board as BJ Upton singled in a run. Maybe Tampa got something right with starting him.
2:03 – RR won’t leave me alone now…
McCann’s dinger has me dusting off my foam tomahawk for the first time this season. (Yes, I own not one, but two Braves tomahawks and two stuffed, talking AFLAC ducks, and I’m proud of it!)
2:07 – Seriously, he’s like a machine…
Ryan Howard can mash, but he’s a bit out to lunch on the basepaths, getting nicked on the foot by a Chase Utley smash to quell the best rally the Phils have had so far. I think the AFLAC duck would have moved out of the way faster on that one.
2:10 – Sheffield reminds the Tigers why they paid so much for him with a sac fly. 3-1 Jays.
2:14 – The 2:00 games have started, and Grady Sizemore wants to make my WS prediction at least half-right. He hits a leadoff homer and the peasants rejoice.
2:18 – Ramirez (from the Marlins!) is having quite a day. He’s 3-3 with two runs, an RBI, and two stolen bases. Hope you guys started him! Oh, and Dontrelle Willis has pitched three scoreless innings.
2:26 – Okay, here we go. Posada and Cabrera hit homers at about the same time. Posada’s was a solo shot and Cabrera’s came with, who else, Ramirez on base.
2:29 – The Indians have pretty much won already as key acquisition Josh Barfield hits a two-run single.
2:32 – Jimmy Rollins says little guys can hit the ball far as well with a home run in the bottom of the 5th. 2-1 Braves.
2:34 – Carlos Zambrano’s quest for the Cy Young award is twisting in the wind now. Adam Dunn hits a two-run blast.
2:39 – Elijah Dukes gets his first major league hit, and it just so happens to be a home run. Y’all might wanna consider picking this guy up from your free agent pool. He could be the next Chris Shelton. Wait, is that a good thing?
2:48 – The Braves and Yankees both try to get in touch with their inner minor leaguers as both have costly errors and both now find themselves down by a run. 4-3 Devil Rays. 3-2 Phillies. UPDATE – Delmon Young drives home another run for Tampa. 8.31 ERA for Pavano.
3:04 – Adam Dunn for MVP! His second home run on the day puts the Reds up 3-0.
3:16 – Brett Myers saw his stat line: 8 IP, 2 ER, 3 H’s, W. Unfortunately, he missed with one pitch to Edgar Renteria and now he has to settle with 7 2/3 IP, 3 ER, 4 H’s and a no decision.
3:21 – Meanwhile the Indians/White Sox game is still over. Victor Martinez, Jhonny Peralta, and Trot Nixon all have multiple hits. It’s 11-2 in the 3rd.
3:26 – Big hit from Derek Jeter, a two run single to tie the Yanks up with the D-Rays at 5. The game is in the 6th, which makes it a quick one for the AL, I guess.
3:29 – Getting back to pitchers, Willis’ day is over in Washington, and it was a pretty successful start. 6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 3 K’s. It’s 9-2 in the 7th, so a win is likely as well. Yes, it’s just the Nats, but I think Willis might have been slightly undervalued this preseason.
3:38 – RotoRob checking back in with an update in the Toronto/Tigers game.
The Jays have blown their 3-0 lead and allowed the Tigers to tie things up. And with Toronto having a chance to move ahead in the ninth, Aaron Hill draws a key one-out walk against closer Todd Jones. Up comes Matt Stairs, a left-handed bat the Jays will rely heavily on off the bench this year, and he promptly hits one of the easiest DP balls you’ll see to end the threat. Ah yes…so that’s why Jones has 263 career saves.
3:41 – A-Rod hits a single, steals second, and comes home on a Giambi single. I’m pretty sure he was still booed.
3:44 – Somehow the Brewers just keep scoring runs. Bill Hall homers and pushes the score to 7-1 in the 6th.
3:58 – Maybe the Phillies shouldn’t pitch to Renteria. He hits a two run homer in the top of the 10th, and that might be all she wrote.
4:07 – RotoRob stops by to talk about the Cubs.
So much for the revamped Cubs offense so far. Reds starter Aaron Harang just tossed his second 1-2-3 inning at Chicago as the score remains 5-1 Reds heading to the bottom half of the sixth. Harang has looked solid today, scattering six hits and one unearned run while fanning four and walking two. He’s up to 103 pitches, so I’m guessing he’s done for the day. Great outing for Harang as he’s outpitched Carlos Zambrano by a substantial margin.
4:11 – A-Rod homers and the crowd seems to not want to kill him now. See, that’s all it takes. Home runs every at bat. Sadly, fantasy owners of Mariano Rivera probably weren’t as appreciative. The two run shot took the game out of a save situation.
4:17 – Last update from this post. (Mid-Day live blogging will happen in a different post) Anyway, the Blue Jays put up two big runs in the top of the 10th, which means BJ Ryan is in a save situation.