I’m not going to pepper you with nostalgic, flowery writing here. But I will say that I do believe that Opening Day (1) should always start in the afternoon on the first Monday of April, (2) should always start in Cincinnati, and (3) should be a National Holiday. So it’s out there. I’m a quack.
@REDS 4, Marlins 0
Johnny Cueto (W 1-0) picked up where he left off last season with 7 shutout innings of 3-hit pitching. Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall pitched a perfect 8th and 9th respectively, each with a pair of strikeouts to give the back-end of that bullpen a promising start to the season. Rob Neyer’s pre-season pick for NL Rookie of the Year, Zack Cozart was 2-for-4. And Jay Bruce crushed one.
Phillies 1, @PIRATES 0
So this guy Roy Halladay. He’s pretty good, right?
Halladay picked up the first of what will probably be 18-plus wins and Jonathan Papelbon the first of 40-some saves for the Phillies as the Pirates managed just a pair of hits. Pat yourselves on the backs, Alex Preseley and Jose Tabata! Erik Bedard (L, 0-1) allowed just one earned run in 7 innings of work for the Bucs, but looked like he was short-arming everything in the highlights I saw. Let’s play the over/under game on how many innings he’ll get in this year. I’ll go with 50. Your turn!
Nationals 2, @CUBS 1
Ryan Dempster was phenomenal for 7.2 innings of work and then the Cubs happened. Kerry Wood walked three in a row to force the tying run across the plate and Carlos Marmol allowed a pair of hits in the 9th to give the Nats the win. Stephen Strasburg pitched well for Washington, but wasn’t particularly overpowering, fanning 5 in 7 innings of work. The lead story in the game was probably the wind, which was coming straight in at 18 mph. There were at least 4 balls in the game that probably would’ve flown out of the park on any other day, mostly hit by Washington. To Dempster’s credit, he struck out 10, but when the ball was hit it was really hit.