Hi all. Here’s how I see baseball on this Friday, April 7.
As dreadful as yesterday’s weather was in much of the country, all the games scheduled were played. In conditions more conducive to the fish that is the team’s namesake, the Miami Marlins took a soggy win over the Nationals in 10 innings yesterday in Washington. The Fish didn’t score at all until the 8th when their catcher J.T. Realmuto hit a two-run home run. They tied the game in the 9th on an rbi-single by Tyler Moore. In the visiting 10th Justin Bour (pronounced Bore) doubled home what proved to be the winning run of a game delayed twice by rain in the nation’s capital. The Nationals lived by the bomb, with all their offense coming on solo home runs from newly-acquired Adam Eaton and old hands Jason Werth and Ryan Zimmerman.
The Mets’ offense finally put in an appearance at Citi Field as they took a 6-2 win over the Braves. I was out and about most of yesterday and the amount of rain this area got had me believing there was no way the Mets’ game could take place, but it did to the misfortune of Braves’ hitters. Matt Harvey looked like the Matt Harvey of 2015 and was the first Mets’ starter to get any run support whatsoever. Travis D’Arnaud, who had all of 15 RBIs in 2016 doubled home a pair to erase a 1-0 deficit and make Harvey a winner.
A few teams have their home openers today. Weather permitting the Pirates will play their home opener at 1 PM against the Braves. Ivan Nova, who went from a zero in the Bronx to a hero in the steel city gets the start in the home opener. In the Tigers’ home opener they will start Michael Fulmer, last year’s American League Rookie of the Year against Boston’s knuckleballing all-star of 2016 Steven Wright. That game is also slated for a 1 PM start. A couple of hours later the Phillies host the Nationals in their home opener. The Nats bring out last year’s Cy Young award winner Max Scherzer against the Phillies’ Vince Velasquez. At 4 PM the Rockies hope to play their home opener in Denver against the Dodgers. The visitors start Hyun-Jin Ryu who has been sidelined by injuries for the past two seasons. The Rockies start Denver native Kyle Freeland in his MLB debut. Petco Park hosts the Padres in their home opener against the Giants. The Padres who were demolished 10-2 by the Dodgers yesterday turn to Luis Perdomo who was their best pitcher in the second half of 2016. He faces Matt Cain of the Giants. The Orioles welcome the Yankees in the home opener in Baltimore at 7 PM. The Yanks hope Luis Severino will improve on his dreadful 2016 performance. As a starter he was 0-8 with an ERA north of 8. The Orioles counter with Ubaldo Jimenez. Time was, Orioles Park would be filled with Yankee fans. As the Orioles have improved under Buck Showalter there are fewer Yankees fans at Camden Yards. At Citi Field the Marlins face the Mets in the long-awaited return of Zack Wheeler who hasn’t thrown a pitch with intent in two years. With the injuries the present Mets staff has, they have nowhere to turn but Wheeler in spite of his 5.11 spring ERA. The Twins’ Phil Hughes makes his first start after surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome-the same surgery the Mets’ Matt Harvey had last summer. Hughes faces the White Sox in Chicago. The Reds’ Amir Garrett makes his MLB debut tonight in St. Louis. The lefty is the Reds’ second-best prospect. He faces a former Red, Mike Leake. The Indians face the D-Backs in Phoenix. For the home team Shelby Miller tries to bounce back from two horrific years in a row-one in atlanta, one with the D-Backs. The Angels host the Mariners in their home opener at 10 PM tonight. The Mariners turn to Yovani Gallardo who they got from the Orioles in the winter. The Mexican native pitched most of his career in the National League with the Brewers, so he’s only seen the Angels twice in his decade in the show. The home team counters with Jesse Chavez, a true baseball vagabond who’s been with 7 teams in 9 years.
In their continuing effort to rebuild using senior citizens, the Braves checked the rolls of the AARP and found Ryan Howard, age 37 who broke in with the Phillies in 2004. The Braves signed him to their growing list of the aged and infirm who will open their spanking new ballpark if the recent I85 bridge collapse allows spectators to reach it. Howard was the NL MVP in 2006 and an All-Star 3 times but the last of those was in 2010. He tore his achilles tendon in game 5 of the 2011 NLCS and hasn’t been the same since, hitting a pathetic .196 in 2016.0