The 2021 Major League Baseball season is underway with opening day kicking off Thursday afternoon. Sadly, that wasn’t a full list of goodness with the Orioles-Red Sox game plus and the prime-time Mets-Nationals tilt canceled due to COVID-19 issues among Washington gamers.
This latter issue left us with no play which started between 4:10 p.m. and 10:05 p.m. ET. Bad planning, right? Here is an overview of the scores of the day.
MLB opening day schedule, scores
(Every US / East hour)
- FINAL / 10: Toronto Blue Jays 3, New York Yankees 2 (box score)
- FINAL: Detroit Tigers 3, Cleveland 2 (box score)
- FINAL / 10: Milwaukee Brewers 6, Minnesota Twins 5 (box score)
- Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox – POSTPONED (rain)
- FINAL: Pittsburgh Pirates 5, Chicago Cubs 3 (box score)
- FINAL / 10: Philadelphia Phillies 3, Atlanta Braves 2 (box score)
- FINAL: San Diego Padres 8, Arizona Diamondbacks 7 (box score)
- FINAL: Kansas City Royals 14, Texas Rangers 10 (box score)
- FINALE: Colorado Rockies 8, Los Angeles Dodgers 5 (boîte score)
- FINAL: St. Louis Cardinals 11, Cincinnati Reds 6 (box score)
- FINAL: Tampa Bay Rays 1, Miami Marlins 0 (box score)
- New York Mets at Washington Nationals – REPORTÉ (COVID-19)
- EN DIRECT: Chicago White Sox aux Los Angeles Angels (gametracker)
- EN DIRECT: Houston Astros à Oakland Athletics (gametracker)
- LIVE: San Francisco Giants at Seattle Mariners (gametracker)
The biggest advantage of all is that it was only 1/162 of the season for the teams that played. That’s 0.62 percent. Don’t panic or overreact! (At least not too much.) Let’s review the day of the baseball action that actually happened.
Tough start and silver lining for the reigning champions
This is a testament to the talent of the Dodgers. Clayton Kershaw didn’t have any good things, they made two mistakes, threw three wild throws, made a blunder that turned a two-run home run into a single RBI and an out, they went 3 for 16 with the runners in goal position. and they left 14 men on the base. And yet, they still had the race tied for home plate for the top of ninth and could very well have won the game against the Rockies.
Credit the Rockies for the win, but beware of the rest of baseball because the Dodgers just played one of their worst games possible and still had a good chance of winning.
Bieber plays but gets no support
2020 AL Cy Young winner Shane Bieber joined elite company knocking out 12 batters but got no support for the run with the Tigers holding a 3-0 lead and heading into ninth . A two-point shot from Roberto Perez made things interesting, but (closer?) Tigers reliever Gregory Soto prompted Cesar Hernandez to come out, with a runner and Jose Ramirez standing on the bridge, to finish the game.
D-Backs make history; The Padres always win
The 2021 Arizona Diamondbacks are now the answer to a trivial question. They became the first team in baseball history with a four home run. Still, the Padres would not be turned down. They came from behind with a run in the sixth and then a run in the seventh to take the lead in earnest and win, 8-7. They had 10 hits even though Fernando Tatis Jr. and Manny Machado combined to go 1-10. They won despite Yu Darvish giving up four runs on eight hits in 4 2/3 innings.
Good signs for Jays
A fashionable choice for the playoffs, the Blue Jays entered the Bronx and beat the Yankees with Gerrit Cole on the hill. Teoscar Hernandez – an offensive star in 2020 – went 3 for 4 with a home run and Vladimir Guerrero looked really good with a simple row workout and two steps. The Jays didn’t have George Springer yet, either.
Hyun-Jin Ryu completed 5 1/3 innings, allowing just two runs (both on a Gary Sanchez homer), but the real story on the pitching side was the Blue Jays’ box with 4 2/3 scoreless innings while allowing only two hits.
The Yankees had a few late threats, but Aaron Judge struck out twice, leaving five men, to end those rallies.
Brewers are coming back
The Twins scored two runs early in the third inning and held onto the lead until there were two strikeouts late in the ninth. A bit of neglect left the Brewers hanging around as a batter and pitch error put two runners on base before Christian Yelich made a home single, and then Travis Shaw netted a two-run double. The ninth three-point finish for the Brewers extended play to the extras and the Brewers gave it up.
Hello Phillies bullpen?
The Phillies had one of the worst bullpens in recent memory last season. It was a shame for the league the kind of numbers they put in (7.06 ERA, 1.79 WHIP).
On Thursday, the Phillies used four relievers – Archie Bradley, Jose Alvarado, Hector Neris and Connor Brogdon – who allowed just one hit in 3 1/3 innings scoreless while striking out four. It’s not like they’re facing a lineup full of pushovers, as that was the attack on the high octane Braves.
Aaron Nola’s good outing and Jean Segura’s single will be most of the highlights here, but don’t sleep on this good performance from the bullpen.
A duel in Florida
The Rays and Marlins combined for just eight hits, with an Austin Meadows solo homerun being the only offense in Miami. Tyler Glasnow (6IP, 1H, 0 ER, 0BB, 6K) and Sandy Alcantara (6IP, 2H, 0 ER, 2BB, 7K) starters were awesome. Marlins first baseman Jesus Aguilar – who had two of their three hits in the game – scared the Rays when he flew to the warning lane with what would have been a home run. Lousy in a few parks, but the Marlins left empty on opening day.
The card offense discharges early; uh oh Eugenio
The Cardinals beat 11 runs on nine hits in just four innings at Cincinnati on Thursday. Sure, they only had one hit in five scoreless innings after that, but who cares? The 11 innings were more than enough to win. The new Paul Goldschmidt-Nolan Arenado combo look in the 2-3 places combined to go 6 for 10 with four points and two RBIs. How about rookie Dylan Carlson who beat a three-run homerun in the first?
On the Reds’ side, I guess there is a silver lining to earning seven points even after allowing six at the top of the first. Still, their perhaps dubious decision to try All-Star third baseman Eugenio Suarez on shortstop resulted in two errors, one of which could have cost them the game. In the first inning, with just one point from the Cardinals having scored at this point, Yadier Molina sent a short routine Grounder that could have been a late inning double play and Suarez started it up. Sure, it was in the hole, but Molina is one of the easiest in baseball to pass with his lack of speed.
Unstable start for Cubs
The Cubs are at a crossroads this season with several key players hitting free agency afterwards. It’s possible they’ll make one last run in the playoffs with what’s left of their 2016 core, or they may collapse and sell before the trade deadline. Thursday was a brutal start. Kyle Hendricks lasted just three innings, completing three walks for the first time in exactly two years, as the offense collected just two hits throughout the game. The Cub throwers issued 11 steps and it could have been a lot worse, but the Pirates left 15 ridiculous men on the base.
The Royals’ new look offensive wouldn’t be denied in Wild One
The Royals allowed five runs early in the first inning. It must be pretty deflating to see your opponent scoring five points before they even get to bat in the opener, right? It doesn’t matter. The Royals tied that spot at five with five of their own in the bottom half. They would then call 6-5 through two innings and 8-5 after the start of the third. But the Royals have never stopped hitting. They scored several runs – the old “crooked number” – in four different innings. Kyle Isbel, Michael Taylor and Whit Merrifield all had three hits. Taylor, Merrifield and Jorge Soler all succeeded. They were relentless with the bats from start to finish.
The 14 innings were a Royals record for opening day. It was the longest nine-inning game in Royals’ opening day history.
Oh, and take this (via Jeremy Frank sur Twitter): It was the first game of the opening day in which neither of the starting pitchers had five strikeouts (1 2/3 innings). Royals starter Brad Keller completed 1 1/3 of an inning while Rangers starter Kyle Gibson left after 1/3 of an inning. He faced eight batters, allowing four hits and three walks while taking one out (one strikeout).
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