Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Notes from Opening Day

A look back at the first game of the 2012 season, a 3-1 Seattle Mariners victory over the Oakland Athletics in eleven innings.  Since it started at 6:10 AM EST, I'm guessing you missed it because, like me, you were still asleep.  Gotta love the games in Japan, especially when they involve two boring teams destined to finish far below the .500 mark.

-Ichiro Suzuki thrived in his homeland, getting the first hit of the season and going 4 for 5 (true to form, they were all singles) with an RBI out of the three hole (just his fourteenth time hitting third).  He and Ackley knocked in all three of Seattle's runs and combined for six of the team's nine hits
-Dustin Ackley blasted the first home run of 2012, a fourth inning solo shot off Brandon McCarthy.  It was the only long ball of the game.  He also stole a base to round out the first fantasy "combo meal" (game with at least one home run and steal) of the year.
-Oakland's Cuban import Yoenis Cespedes batted seventh and went 1 for 3 with a double and two strikeouts in his big league debut.  He was the only A's hitter to not leave anybody one base, gunned down Ichiro at second base and also got plunked by King Felix.  Welcome to the Show.
-Each team made one error in the field
-Each team stole two bases and suffered one caught-stealing
-Oakland used six pitchers, twice as many as Seattle
-It was a good old-fashioned pitcher's duel, with just four runs and fifteen hits (five for extra bases) combined between the two teams
-The A's went 1 for 14 with runners in scoring position.  Where's RBI machine Manny Ramirez when you need him?
-Perhaps the most unbelievable statistic of the day; no walks were issued during the full eleven innings
-2010 AL Cy Young winner Felix Hernandez was in top form against the punchless A's, going eight innings while giving up just five hits and one run.  He struck out six, walked none, and hit two batters (Cespedes and Seth Smith) on 104 pitches.  His opponent, Brandon McCarthy, nearly matched him by twirling seven innings of one run ball.  He allowed six hits, no walks, and struck out three on 82 pitches.  Both got stuck with no-decisions.

Tomorrow's game starts even earlier, at 5:10 AM EST.  Good luck rolling out of bed in time for that one.

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