It is a good time to be a baseball fan. The 2017 MLB season has officially begun. We were treated to three games on Sunday. Then eleven on Monday. The only two teams yet to play are the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers, who missed out on Monday’s action thanks to a rain delay.
It may only be one game a piece, but there is plenty of things that can be taken away from those fourteen games. Now obviously nothing is a one hundred percent certainty after one game. But after watching these games, there were certainly some points I felt good about predicting in Spring, that I feel were confirmed.
So without further ado, here are a few of the things I walked away from after Opening Day in MLB.
The San Diego Padres are going to be bad… really, really bad
Things started off so well for the Pads. In what was the biggest pitching mismatch on Monday (Clayton Kershaw vs Jhoulys Chacin), everyone was surprised to see the Padres strike first. That came in the form of a single run scored in the top of the first inning.
But the lead would not last very long. The Dodgers would tie things in the bottom of the second. And after that, the Padres turned into the Padres. The final score, Los Angeles 14 – San Diego 3. While the Padres do have some nice young players on offense (Myers and Margot), they simply have no pitching. When you send Chacin to the hill in game one, that is all you need to know.
Chacin lasted three and a third, surrendering nine earned runs. The bullpen proved they are not exactly the greatest either in this one. It looks like it will be a long season in San Diego.
The Cincinnati Reds’ rotation will be just as bad as the Padres
One positive to say about Jhouyls Chacin. He was not the worst name to start on Opening Day 2017. That honor goes to Scott Feldman, who should be a number five, not a number one. The Reds starter went to the hill in the top of the first, and proceeded to give up a lead-off homer to Cesar Hernandez.
The second baseman who is known for his speed went long, cementing my idea that the Reds would have the worst rotation in baseball this season. While his line would not end up as bad as Chacin’s, it still was not pretty. His finals numbers read as four and two-thirds, nine baserunners and three earned runs. At least he struck out six.
The Reds better hope their bats can do some work this season. Because they aren’t going to win with their arms.
Andrew Benintendi is the AL Rookie of the Year favorite
Before the season began, Andrew Benintendi of the Boston Red Sox was my pick for the AL Rookie of the Year. In Monday’s game he went one for four. But that one was a home run to right field to bring home three runs, which was a big blow to Pittsburgh Pirate’s starter Gerrit Cole. And what a sweet swing it was. After seeing that one swing I felt pretty good with my choice for the award.
Madison Bumgarner is the man
I do not think there is a player I enjoy watching more then Madison Bumgarner. First off, the guy is one of the best pitchers in the league. And if that was not enough, he can swing it too. And he did just that on Sunday afternoon.
MadBum went five innings of perfect baseball. No hits allowed. No walks. Sure he hit a rough spot in the sixth inning, but his final numbers were still solid. In seven innings, he only gave up six hits. He didn’t walk a batter, and gave up three runs. Oh, and he struck out 11.
But that’s not why I felt the need to include him on this list. The starting pitcher hit not one, but two home runs! That means he, a starting pitcher, is tied for the Major Leagues! He is tied with Yasmani Grandal and Rougned Odor for the lead in long balls. Only a pitcher of Bumgarner’s stature could pull off that kind of feat.
Carlos Martinez is going to have a career year
Like Benintendi, I was extremely high on Carlos Martinez entering the season. And on Sunday night he was tasked with facing the reigning World Series champs, the Chicago Cubs. This was a Cubs team that is not only loaded with talented bats, but also one that Martinez usually struggles against.
But Martinez came out on Sunday and was absolutely dealing. He looked downright nasty. Over the course of seven and a third innings, he allowed six hits, no walks, no runs and struck out ten. Damn, that was impressive. The numbers alone tell you how impressive he was. But if you actually got to watch the game, you know this was an improved Martinez.
He is a young and rising star in the game of baseball. And 2017 looks to be a career year for the youngster.
So what did you take away from each team’s first game? Tell us in the comments!