March 29th is the earliest baseball opening day fans have ever got to enjoy. Major League Baseball also set up Opening Day in grand fashion by scheduling every single team for a game all on one day. Here is a complete rundown of what took place across the country at a baseball stadium (possibly) near you.
Cubs at Marlins
The Chicago Cubs took on Jeter’s dismantled Miami Marlins for the first game of the season. It was over before it barely even started. Miami’s Jose Urena’s first pitch was launched to Miami Beach by Ian Happ.
Cubs move to 1-0 thanks to the bullpen going 5 2/3 scoreless and home runs from Anthony Rizzo and Kyle Schwarber.
“I’ve hit a lot of home runs. That was probably the most out of body experience I’ve had hitting a home run in my life. It just felt really good. My emotions on Opening Day are usually pretty high but with all this, you can’t really put it into words,” said Rizzo who has been dealing with the aftermath of the Parkland Shooting.
Fans are hoping Lester’s outing and Schwarber’s outfield struggles are not going to continue.
Chicago Cubs 8, Miami Marlins 4. Final.
Pirates at Tigers
Gloomy day in Detroit results in no game. Is this foreshadowing the upcoming season for both Detroit and Pittsburgh?
Cardinals at Mets
St. Louis’ Carlos Martinez did not last long after walking 5 and giving up 5 runs to New York in 4 1/3 innings. Martinez did let loose on the innocent Double Bubble container once he arrived at the benches. Yadier Molina hit career home run #127 to move up to 16th place on the Cardinals’ all-time home run list. Noah Syndergaard might have given up four runs but became only the second Mets pitcher with double-digit strikeouts (10) on Opening Day. Pedro Martinez was the first when he struck out twelve back in 2005.
New York Mets 9, St. Louis Cardinals 4. Final.
Nationals at Reds
Twins at Orioles
Newly-acquired Jake Odorizzi (Twins) and Dylan Bundy (Orioles) both pitched 6 or more innings of scoreless baseball with seven strikeouts. Orioles’ Caleb Joseph hits a triple in the seventh to put his team up 2-0. Robbie Grossman ties it with a two-run single in the top of the ninth. Just when you thought this game would not have any home runs, Fernando Rodney allows this to happen:
First team to walk-off in three straight Opening Day games.
Baltimore Orioles 3, Minnesota 2. Final/11.
Astros at Rangers
The reigning champs, Houston Astros took on state rival Texas Ranger in Arlington, Texas. World Series MVP George Springer hits a leadoff home run for a second straight season (first one to accomplish that feat).
Unconventional shifts took place in the first inning when third basemen Alex Bregman caught a fly ball hit into right field by Joey Gallo.
Justin Verlander secures the win after allowing four hits and no runs and striking out five through seven innings. Houston tacked on three more runs while the Rangers could not squeeze out a run until the ninth inning. Elvis Andrus scored on a Ken Giles wild pitch but it was not enough to start a rally.
Houston Astros 4, Texas Rangers 1. Final.
Yankees at Blue Jays
This past fall, Blue Jays’ Roy Halladay died in a tragic plane crash. They are dedicating the season to him and before Thursday’s game had a tribute and revealed his retired number banner. Doc will be missed.
The actual game was all Yankees. Giancarlo Stanton bashed an opposite-field home run in a first at-bat as a Yankee. According to Statcast, the 117.3 mph ball was the hardest hit opposite field home run ever.
Luis Severino allowed only one hit, no runs, and three walks while striking out seven Jays in 5 2/3 innings. The Yankees scored again in the fifth, seventh and ninth inning which included a home run from Brett Gardner and another from Stanton. The Jays scored their only run in the bottom of the ninth when Kevin Pillar hit a solo shot off Dellin Betances.
New York Yankees 6, Toronto Blue Jays 1. Final.
Red Sox at Rays
Red Sox started off fast but could not hold on late in the game. Boston scored three runs off Chris Archer in the third. Eduardo Nunez saw only one pitch but it was good enough to drive in two runs of those runs with an inside-the-park home run.
Chris Sale went six scoreless innings while allowing only one hit and three walks and striking out nine batters. Matt Barnes pitched a clean seventh before being pulled and the Rays taking over. Before the Rays’ takeover, Rafael Devers drove in Xander Bogaerts to give the team a 4-0 lead. Joe Kelly and Carson Smith combined for three hits allowed, four walks and six runs in just an inning.
Tampa Bay Rays 6, Boston Red Sox 4. Final.
Angels at Athletics
The most hits in an Opening Day game came between the Angels and Athletics when they combined for 25. Angels lead 4-0 until the bottom of the fifth when slugger Khris Davis brought hope into Oakland Coliseum. Davis launches a 3-run shot followed by a Matt Olson solo home run to tie the game.
Albert Pujols put the Angels back up with his 615th career home run. Davis would follow that up and come up big again with an RBI single to tie the game. In the top of the eleventh, one out, and two runners on base, Marcus Semien singles in Boog Powell for the game-ending RBI hit
Oakland Athletics 6, Los Angeles Angels 5. Final/11.
Brewers at Padres
The longest game of the day (innings wise) goes to the game at Petco Park in San Diego. A combined 12 different pitchers were used by the two team. Lorenzo Cain and Christain Yelich collectively went 4 for 9 with an RBI, walk, and a strikeout. Padres’ sluggers (Wil Myers and Eric Hosmer) struggled as they went hitless in nine at-bats including four strikeouts. This eventless game was won on an RBI single to leftfield by Orlando Arcia.
Milwaukee Brewers 2, Padres 1. Final/12.
Phillies at Braves
Philadelphia Phillies new manager Gabe Kapler made a rookie mistake when he pulled Aaron Nola from the game. The Phillies were up 5-0 and had one out in the six innings with Nola having only tossed sixty eight pitches. The Braves scored two in the sixth, followed by three in both the eight and then again in the ninth. The game-winning hit was a walk-off home run from Nick Markakis which he has never done in his 12-year career.
White Sox at Royals
The most home runs hit on Opening Day this year took place during this game. White Sox hit six and the Royals added one. Sox starter James Shield bounced around and gave up four runs in the first to his former team. Jose Abreu, Matt Davidson, and Tim Anderson hit home runs in the fourth. Davidson would go on to hit two more and complete the day going 3 (all home runs) for 4 with four runs, five runs batted in and a walk.
Chicago White Sox 14, Kansas City Royals 7. Final.
Giants at Dodgers
Clayton Kershaw suffered his first loss in his eighth consecutive Opening Day start. Joe Panik hit a home run, scoring the only run in the top of the fifth. Kershaw pitched six innings, allowed one run, and struck out seven. Giants’ Ty Blach went five scoreless earning the win and Hunter Strickland got the save.
San Francisco Giants 1, Los Angeles Dodgers 0. Final
Indians at Mariners
Ichiro Suzuki returns to Seattle to a standing ovation.
That was about all the excitement around Suzuki since he went hitless with a strikeout in his return. The only scoring play by the Mariners was a two-run home run from Nelson Cruz which scored Robinson Cano. After struggling last season, Felix Hernandez looked sharp in against the tough Indians’ lineup. He gave up only two hits while pitching scoreless baseball through 5 2/3 innings. Edwin Diaz gets three straight strikeouts to earn his first save of the season.
The Indians scored their only run when Yan Gome drove in Lonnie Chisenhall in on a single to center field. Corey Kluber fought through the first and continued to pitch the rest of the game. He tossed eight innings, allowed two runs, and struck out eight batters.
Seattle Mariners 2, Cleveland Indians. Final.
Rockies at Diamondbacks
To finish off the busiest day of Opening Day baseball, fans got a game in the desert. D-Backs’ manager Torey Lovullo went with Patrick Corbin over Zack Greinke for Opening Day. Greinke tweaked his groin on March 14 so Lovullo wanted to give him more time to rest. Greinke will pitch Saturday.
Patrick Corbin gave up two home runs, one to D.J. LeMahieu in the first and then to Nolan Arenado in the sixth but that was all the damage. Corbin lasted 5 2/3 and struck out eight batters. After losing their offensive weapon in J.D. Martinez, the Diamondbacks did not let that hold them back at Chase Field. Jake Lamb had two RBI hits (4 total RBIs) and David Peralta scored twice and drove in another.
What a day! Only 2,417 more regular season games to go.