Sunday saw the start of the 2016 MLB season with 3 games to whet our appetites for the big Opening Day on Monday. I was so hungry for real baseball that I watched all 3 games on offer.
Below are my brief thoughts on each game:
Cardinals (0-1) 1-4 Pirates (1-0)
Cardinals ace, Adam Wainwright looked fairly average in the season opener. For some reason he struggles at PNC Park and it was no different this time around as he went 6 IP, 6H, 3ER, 3K, 3BB.
Pirates starter, Francisco Liriano, was on fire all day as he struck out 10 Cardinals hitters over 6 shutout innings. The 10 strikeouts is a Pirates record for Opening Day. The moment of the game was probably when Liriano drove in the first run of the 2016 season! Who would have predicted that?
Liriano was definitely the best starting pitcher of the 6 on show on Opening Day.
Blue Jays (1-0) 5-3 Rays (0-1)
The much talked about Blue Jays offense didn’t disappoint against Rays ace Chris Archer. They got to him early scoring 2 in the 1st inning and the Blue Jays never really looked back after that. Tulowitzki hit the first home run of the season as he drove in 2 runs and RBI machine, Encarnation also drove in 2 runs for the Blue Jays.
Rays starter, Chris Archer, struggled to find his feet in the first inning, but did settle in after that and went on to strike out 12 Blue Jays hitters over 5 innings. He will no doubt rack up the strikeouts this year. Can he get 300?
Young Blue Jays ace, Marcus Stroman, didn’t feel much pressure as he looked cool a as cucumber all day. He was solid with 8 IP, 6H, 3ER, BB, 5K as he got the win on Opening Day.
Mets (0-1) 3 -4 Royals (1-0)
A repeat of last fall’s World Series saw the Mets square off against the Royals on Opening Night in Kansas. The Royals carried on where they left in October as they hit their way to a 4-0 lead after 6 innings. This lead looked insurmountable considering the World Champions’ strong bullpen but the Mets fought back in the 8th inning against Joacim Soria to score 3 runs and make it a 1 run game going into the 9th inning. Royals closer Wade Davis stepped up for the save and initially got into a bit of a jam with runner on the corners and only 1 out. He held his nerve to get strikeout both David Wright and Yoenis Cespedes as the Royals narrowly hung on for the win.
Edison Volquez was magnificent for the Royals as he threw 6 shutout innings with 5 strikeouts. Harvey wasn’t his dominant self on the mound as he went 5.2 IP, 8H, 3ER, 2BB, 2K for the loss.
Today there’s another 11 games on tap for us with some mouth watering pitching matchups. I’m especially ooking forward to Kluber vs Price and Sale vs Gray. Get ready and enjoy a marathon of baseball today folks!