Baseball is back, and it’s already given us no shortage of YCPB moments.
In a day of many low-scoring games, the Phillies and Rangers seemed singlehandedly determined to make up for it.
- The Phillies staked Cliff Lee out to a six-run lead on the back of a Jimmy Rollins grand slam.
– Lee (and the Phillies) proceeded to blow the lead in a span of 10 hitters (h/t @joe_sheehan). By the end of the third, the Rangers led 7-6.
— At one point Lee walked JP Arencibia. Arencibia had a 3.6 BB% at a hitter in 2013; Lee’s BB% as a pitcher was 3.7% (h/t @si_mlb).
—- Lee surrendered eight runs.
—– He, and the Phillies, still won.
—— Pitchers who got a loss or a no decision today: Samardzija (7 IP, 0 R), Liriano (6 IP, 0 R, 10 K), Lester (7 IP, 2 R, 8 K), and Cueto (7 IP, 1 R, 8 K).
——- Tanner Scheppers, the Rangers’ starting pitcher, made his first big league start and gave up seven runs in four innings. He was the better pitcher today.
——– Spring Training is meaningless, but we should note the Phillies were shut out in their last three Spring Training games.
Andrew Brown hit a home run off of Stephen Strasburg, who gave up four runs in six innings.
- Juan Lagares also homered for the Mets.
– The Mets still lost.
— The Mets are actually one of the best teams on Opening Day. They lost the first eight in their organization’s history, but have gone 34-10 since. They’ve also won 20 of the past 22 season openers when they’ve opened at home.
Justin Verlander walked in a run.
- Via @based_ball, Verlander has seven bases-loaded walks, five of which have come since last season.
– For the sixteenth time in his career, he walked more batters than he struck out. It’s only the fifth time since 2009 that he’s done that, though.
— Alex Gonzalez tripled, and also had the walk-off hit for the Tigers.
—- In a game where Verlander (8.5 K/9), Joe Nathan (9.6), and Al Alburquerque (13.2) all pitched, Tigers pitching struck out only two batters.
Speaking of unlikely pitchers walking batters, Adam Wainwright walked four today. Last year, his fourth walk came in his 8th start, on May 11th.
- It’s the first time he’s walked four in a start since 2012.
– Also, RA Dickey walked five, becoming the first Blue Jays pitcher to do so on Opening Day since 1982 (h/t @jaysonst).
In addition to Adam Wainwright walking four, the Cardinals made three errors and scored just one run.
- They won.
– All five teams in the NL Central played today, and combined they scored only four runs.
— They won three games.
The Marlins scored ten runs.
- They currently have the best run differential in baseball, h/t @rontrarian.
– They scored ten or more runs just four times in 2013, and, in fact, ranked dead last in runs scored, hits, HR, OPS, and OBP.
Grady Sizemore homered.
- It’s his first homer since July 2011.
– It was also the only run for Boston today.
— Jon Lester didn’t take a loss in a game against Baltimore in his first twenty outings against them. He’s lost four of the last six times.