The American League East was supposed to be competitive – we all knew that. But I don’t think any of us expected *this* – through the first week of the season, all five teams in the division are separated by just one game. The Blue Jays lead the pack at 5-4, the Rays are behind them at 5-5, and the Red Sox, Orioles, and Yankees are all 4-5. Even more weird – the division’s cumulative run differential is -8. Only the Rays, who are a +7 in their ten games this year, have a positive differential. Yeah, it’s early, but it’s shaping up to be a pretty wild year in the AL East.
Game of the Night: Nationals 10, Marlins 7. What a wild game in DC. Miami pounded Jordan Zimmermann early, scoring five runs and forcing him out of the game after just 1 2/3 innings. Washington then took over in the middle innings and took a 6-5 lead in the sixth inning. In the seventh, a Jarrod Saltalamacchia homer tied the game at six, and an eighth inning Garrett Jones double pushed the Marlins back in front 7-6. But in the bottom of the eighth, Carlos Marmol happened. After getting Jose Lobaton to line out Marmol hit Nate McLouth, allowed Denard Span to reach on a sacrifice bunt attempt that turned into a two-base error, and intentionally walked Anthony Rendon. That brought up Jayson Werth with the bases loaded, and you can imagine where that ball landed. Miami brought the tying run to the plate in the ninth against Rafael Soriano, but he got Christian Yelich to ground out to Rendon to end the game.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Ervin Santana smelled a 4-3 Braves win over the Mets in his debut with Atlanta, allowing just three hits over eight scoreless innings, punching out six without a walk. Garrett Richards helped the Angels to a 2-0 win over the Mariners, giving up only one hit over seven shutout innings, walking three and punching out six. Mike Leake and the Reds shut out the Cardinals 4-0, with Leake giving up four hits in eight shutout frames, walking one and striking out three. Zach McAllister pitched the Indians past the Padres 2-0 in game one of their doubleheader, allowing only five hits in 7 2/3 shutout innings, striking out seven and walking none. Jesse Chavez unexpectedly led the Athletics to a 7-4, 11 inning win in Minnesota, allowing one run on six hits in seven innings, punching out nine without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Gerardo Parra got off to a host start in Arizona’s 7-3 win over the Giants, going 3/5 with three runs, two RBI, a triple, and a homer. Victor Martinez helped the Tigers beat the Dodgers 7-6 in ten innings, going a perfect 3/3 with a homer, a walk, two runs, and two RBI. In Minnesota’s loss to Oakland, Jason Kubel went 4/5 with a homer and two runs scored. Both Pedro Alvarez and Russell Martin hit a pair of solo homers in four at bats during Pittsburgh’s 7-5 loss to the Cubs. The Yankees fell to the Orioles 5-4 despite Carlos Beltran going 3/3 with a double, a home run, two runs, and a walk. Jason Heyward snapped out of his cold streak in Atlanta, going 3/4 with a solo homer, two runs, and two RBI.
Other Games: The Padres edged the Indians 2-1 in the second game of that doubleheader. The Rockies rallied late and ended up smashing the White Sox 10-4. The Royals beat up the Rays 7-3. The Brewers once again poured on offense late and topped the Phillies 9-4. The Red Sox doubled up the Rangers 4-2 thanks to a late David Ortiz homer. The Blue Jays rolled the Astros 7-3.
What You Missed: So, the Braves set the American flag on fire during their home opener on Tuesday. The Vermont Lake Monsters have some…interesting new batting practice uniforms. The Angels will be without Josh Hamilton for six to eight weeks after thumb surgery. Adam Jones ate a lot of donuts at the MLB Fan Cave. Fox Sports baseball analyst Frank Thomas thinks balls are juiced this year. Finally, Ian shredded those people who think baseball games need to change or become shorter.
Today’s Games: Dan Straily toes the rubber for the A’s in Minnesota. Gerrit Cole and Travis Wood will duel at Wrigley. Stephen Strasburg and the Nationals host the Marlins. Your first Red Sox-Yankees series of the year kicks off with Clay Buchholz taking on Michael Pineda. Marco Estrada and Cliff Lee will tango in Philly as the Brewers look for a sweep. R.A. Dickey and the Blue Jays host the Astros. Danny Salazar starts for the Indians in Chicago.
National TV: Athletics-Twins (1 PM, MLB Network), Pirates-Cubs (2 PM, MLB Network), Red Sox-Yankees (duh, MLB Network, 7 PM), Brewers-Phillies (7 PM, MLB Network)
MLB.tv Free Game: Astros-Blue Jays (7 PM)
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.