By DUSTIN THOMAS
It is the beginning of April and warm weather is upon us. Get your sunflower seeds, cracker jacks and peanuts and get ready because baseball is finally here. Things kicked off on Sundaywith a 1:05 p.m. first pitch by Chris Archer at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida.
Six teams were in action on Sunday and Madison Bumgarner stole the show once again by taking a no-hitter into the seventh inning and hitting two home runs of his own against Zack Greinke and the Arizona Diamondbacks. In their first game defending their reign as World Series Champions, the Chicago Cubs lost on a walk off hit by Randal Grichuk in the bottom of the ninth. Twenty-four teams set to take the field on Monday with lots of new faces on their ball clubs. The Detroit Tigers-Chicago White Sox started the day was cancelled due to rain. For the first time since 1997, someone started at DH for the Boston Red Sox as Hanley Ramirez’s name was on the lineup card after spending parts of the past two seasons starting at first base and left field.
Many eyes were watching rookies such as Andrew Benintendi, Gary Sanchez and Dansby Swanson as they made their Opening Day debut after showing flashes in the small glimpse we got of them last September. Benintendi impressed the best out of the bunch leading the Red Sox to a win after a not so impressive first start by reigning American League Cy Young Award winner Rick Porcello who gave up three runs over six and one third innings against the Pittsburgh Pirates.
In a rematch of the American League’s wild card game between the Orioles and Blue Jays that ended in a 5-2 extra inning victory for the Blue Jays had a different outcome this time. In the bottom of the 11th, reigning AL home run champ Mark Trumbo hit a solo shot to give the O’s the victory. With question marks all off season as to who was going to be the new closer in the nation’s capital, Blake Treinen finally stepped up and proved to all of us that Nationals manager Dusty Baker made the right call. Treinen shut the door in top of the ninth inning in which ended the 4-2 contest against the Miami Marlins in which Bryce Harper and new utility man Adam Lind homered.
Clayton Kershaw picked up exactly where he left off last year by allowing only one run in seven innings of work against the San Diego Padres and continues his record for the lowest ERA on Opening Day with a 0.99. In their first game since their heartbreaking World Series lost, the Cleveland Indians beat the Texas Rangers by a score of 8-5 and was led by new designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion and former Cy Young award winner who gave up five runs in six innings of work.
It is not an even number year so we know the San Francisco Giants will not be winning it all in October but if Monday was an indication of who will then we are in for a treat ladies and gentleman.