Tigers 6, Rangers 4: What a difference a weekend makes. The Rangers looked like world beaters after taking the Indians apart in the season’s opening series, and then they get swept the hell out of Detroit. Not that they couldn’t have won this game. In fact, they had a 4-0 lead behind Kevin Millwood before C.J. Wilson allowed the wheels to fall off in the eighth inning. Meanwhile, someone tell the Texas Rangers Blog people that unless they’re John Mayer, they’re stealing my bit.
Padres 6, Giants 1: Tim Lincecum turns in his second bad start in a row, this time getting whupped by a Padres team that is inexplicably whupping everyone. The only possible explanation for this is that the Giants couldn’t see the Padres in those camo uniforms and thus were taken completely by surprise.
Mariners 1, A’s 0: No camo for the Mariners, who are starting the season out every bit as surprisingly as are the Padres. Big time pitchers’ duel here, with Trevor Cahill taking a no hitter into the seventh yet still losing the game because Bedard took a shutout into the ninth. Bedard started the game moderately inefficiently, and then threw just eight pitches in the fifth, seven in the sixth, 11 in the seventh and only nine more in the eighth inning. This never would have happened if Billy Beane were alive.
Angels 5, Red Sox 4: Fisticuffsmanship! Well, some acrimonious milling about, anyway. I didn’t see it, but from this description in the Projo Sox Blog, one wonders why Josh Beckett wasn’t ejected, because he kind of sounds like the jerk in all of this.
Dodgers 3, Diamondbacks 1: “You sendin’ the Wolf?” “Feel better?” “Sh*t, that’s all you had to say!” He’s Randy Wolf, and he solves problems (7 IP, 2 H, 1 ER).
Phillies 7, Rockies 5: After blowing leads of 4-0 and 5-1, the Rockies’ bullpen finishes the job by giving up a game-winning two-run home run to Matt Stairs. Someday alien explorers will find our lifeless planet and begin to comb through the records of our extinct society, and when they do, one of the questions they’ll be asking themselves is how a guy like Matt Stairs was let go by ten teams over the course of his career.
Royals 6, Yankees 4: Alberto Callaspo hits a ball that not only goes through Nick Swisher’s legs, but Robinson Cano’s as well. Callaspo then ran all twelve hoops in a rare double sextuple peel!
Cardinals 3, Astros 0: Readers from last year will recall that I frequently make mention of the fact that Kyle Lohse could have been had by any team before the 2008 season for virtual peanuts. No one wanted him, so he signed with St. Louis for a bit north of $4M. After a great season he’s making $10M now, but so far on his way to putting up another great season. He gave up a single on his first pitch of the game and then retired 24 straight.
Braves 8, Nationals 5: I know I lived through it, but as I read it in the AJC, I simply can’t believe that the Braves went 6-12 against the Nats last year. Not too much trouble with them so far, as every starter except for Wonderboy gets a hit to help complete the sweep. Pfun Pfact: catcher Brian McCann stole a base, which was the first Braves’ steal of the year. Pfunner Pfact: He has five since the 2008 All-Star break, and that leads the team. How very station-to-station of them.
White Sox 6, Twins 1: Mark Buehrle works fast and throws strikes. Jim Thome hits long bombs. It’s just what they do.
Marlins 2, Mets 1: I suppose Mets fans everywhere can be mad at Daniel Murphy muffing that fly ball that led to two unearned runs in the second inning to ruin an otherwise dominating start from Johan Santana (7 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 13K), but the rest of the New York lineup needs a talking-to as well for allowing Josh Jonson to get a complete game with barely breaking a sweat. The two teams combined for two walks and eight hits and ended this thing in a cool 2:04. It’s as if they had a plane to catch or something. Wait a minute . . . we may be on to something here . . .
Rays 11, Orioles 3: Tampa Bay raps out 17 hits against Adam “there’s a reason no one has let me start for them since last July” Eaton and Brian “holy crap, I was even worse than Eaton” Bass.
Reds 2, Pirates 0: On Opening Day, Aaron Harang was a portrait of inefficiency, requiring well north of 100 pitches to get into the fifth inning. Yesterday: complete game shutout with 9Ks on 108 pitches. First complete game in the Majors this year, by the way, and it kind of put a damper on two pretty spiffy defensive plays by the Pirates: a double play Jack Wilson started while lying on his belly in the dirt, and a triple play — also started by Wilson — on a hard liner to short with runners on first and second running. Well, before they got doubled and then tripled off, that is.
Cubs 8, Brewers 5: The little closer controversy that developed over the weekend for the Cubs may be history soon. After giving Kevin Gregg a day to think about it, Piniella went back to Marmol-Gregg. Granted, it wasn’t a save situation, but Marmol took eleven pitches to strike out two dudes and retire a third in his inning. Gregg gave up a dinger, a double and a walk in the ninth. Sure, in an ideal world you’d keep Gregg as the three-run-lead ninth inning pitcher and call him a closer while giving Marmol all of the really hairy stuff in the seventh and eighth, but I think we’re past the point where even a maverick manager could get away with that for long. A blown save in the ninth inning simply brings far more heat down than a blown lead (or tie) in the seventh, regardless of how little it technically matters when the lead was actually blown. If I’m Lou, I make Marmol the closer, subtly stretch him by a third or two-thirds of an inning here and there, and by the time the playoffs come, go full-Gossage with him.