Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Baseball is Back Baby

Despite the horror of losing the opener up in Boston, baseball is back. A fantastic opening day that saw new kids on the block, Godzilla striking in a new city, An MVP making his early MVP statement, and plenty of injured pitchers returning to the hill.

The new guy and the "old" guy everyone is talking about today though are Jason Heyward and Albert Pujols. Heyward, the Atlanta Braves phenom outfielder, hit his first major league home run in his first major league at bat - at the expense of Carlos Zambrano. And it was no wind blown shot either.

Pujols, meanwhile, was Pujols. 2 home runs, 3 RBI 4 runs scored. Just another day at the office for a guy whose contract next year could exceed Alex Rodriguez's (did I really just say that?).

Hideki Matsui will be sorely missed by Yankees fans and he reminded all of us of that fact last night. Batting against the Minnesota Twins, Godzilla went deep for his first Angels home run. And if you go back to the finale of the World Series, that is 3 home runs in the last 2 games he's played.

Former Yankees prospect Austin Jackson, dealt for Curtis Granderson, made his Tigers debut with a bunch of firsts. Double, hit, RBI, and run scored.

It was an up and down night for hurlers who missed the '09 season. Shaun Marcum breezed through the Rangers lineup before giving up a game tying 3-run home run to Nelson Cruz in the 7th. He ended up with no decision.

Ben Sheets had a rocky start in his Oakland A's debut, allowing 3 runs, 2 earned, 4 hits and 4 walks in 5 innings. Sheets, who finished with 3 Ks, settled down after a shaky first couple of innings.

Johan Santana dominated Josh Josh Johnson and the Florida Marlins, 7-1. Santana allowed just 4 hits over 6 innings. Jake Westbrook would have liked those numbers, but the Indians pitcher got rocked for 5 runs, 5 hits, and issued 5 walks in just 4 innings of work. The Tribe fell to Mark Buerhle and the White Sox, 6-0.

The matchup of the day - which would be more interesting in mid-season, was the Tigers' Justin Verlander against reigning Cy Young Winner Zach Greinke of the Royals. Verlander (5 IP 4 ER) got no-decision and the Royals bullpen deprived Greinke (6 IP 1 ER) and the team of a win.

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