Opening Day live blog: Relive all of the afternoon's best moments
Twenty-eight teams, 14 games and a bevy of baseball the likes of which we hadn't seen in a while: Opening Day 2015 kicked off the regular season on a high note. SI.com's MLB experts—Cliff Corcoran, Jay Jaffe and Jon Tayler—were on all day to provide analysis and updates through the 4 p.m. games. Relive the action by checking out their commentary on the afternoon's madness, and check back in later tonight for Cliff's full recap of Opening day.
You can find scores for every game right here.
7:20 p.m.: FINAL: Dodgers 6, Padres 3
JJ: In a game that featured a whole lot of players wearing new colors, Jimmy Rollins got the upper hand, becoming the first Dodger ever to steal a base and homer in an Opening Day debut. Rollins' three-run homer off Shawn Kelley in the eighth inning swept Clayton Kershaw's shaky start (six innings, three runs, nine strikeouts) under the rug; he went 2-for-4 with a walk. Howie Kendrick went 2-for-4 with a triple in his Dodger debut, Chris Hatcher collected a save in the scoreless ninth, and old standby Adrian Gonzalez added a homer among his three hits as well. On the Padres' side, Justin Upton went 1-for-4 and Derek Norris went 2-for-4 with a double. Matt Kemp's return to L.A. was successful, as he accounted for all three Padres runs on his two hits, but while James Shields was solid in his six innings, the San Diego bullpen let him down, allowing four runs over the final three frames such that they were never able to hand the lead to new closer Craig Kimbrel.
CC: Hilarious that Kershaw striking out nine in a quality start counts as shaky for him.
7:20 p.m.: FINAL: Reds 5, Pirates 2
CC: Bryan Price did his best to waste Johnny Cueto's seven scoreless innings, bringing in Kevin Gregg to protect a two-run lead in the eighth, but Todd Frazier wouldn't have it. Gregg gave up a game-tying two-run home run to Andrew McCutchen in the top of the eighth, but Frazier answered that with a three-run shot off Tony Watson in the bottom of the inning to give the Reds a 5-2 win. Lost in that was a strong start by Francisco Liriano (7 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 3 BB, 7 K, 92 pitches) and a solo shot by bounce-back candidate Jay Bruce. Cueto, meanwhile, struck out ten against one walk, allowing just four hits. Aroldis Chapman struck out two to save the game with a perfect ninth inning.
7:15 p.m.: FINAL: Braves 2, Marlins 1
JT: New closer (as of 24 hours ago) Jason Grilli picks up the save for the Braves, including a swinging strikeout of Giancarlo Stanton. Atlanta downs Miami, 2–1, in a game that the Marlins would like to forget: A rain delay despite a retractable roof, Dee Gordon slipping on wet dirt on a bunt attempt, a bases-loaded/none-out situation resulting in no runs, and Stanton going 1-4 with two strikeouts. At least Henderson Alvarez pitched well: 7 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, though only two strikeouts. Atlanta had only six hits, but they made them count.
JJ: Braves win the trade.
7:15 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: With Kenley Jansen on the DL due to surgery on his left foot, it's new Dodger Chris Hatcher on for the save opportunity.
7:10 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
JT: Todd Frazier obliterates a ball off of Tony Watson about 400 rows into the upper deck in left. His three-run shot breaks a 2–2 tie in the eighth to give the Reds the lead over the Pirates. And here comes Aroldis...
7:10 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Yasiel Puig follows Rollins' homer with a walk, then attempts to steal second. Initially ruled safe but out on instant replay review. Puig again made a hash of the slide; Davey Lopes still has some work to do. Speaking of Lopes, Rollins joins a fun group:
Dodgers with HR & SB on opening day, since 1914:— Eric Stephen (@truebluela) April 6, 2015
Roy Campanella (1949)
Davey Lopes (1978)
Ron Cey (1979)
Kirk Gibson (1989)
7:10 p.m.: FINAL: Royals 10, White Sox 1
CC: That's the ballgame in Kansas City. The Royals go from Game 7 of the World Series to a commanding 10-1 win over the White Sox on Opening Day. Alex Rios led the offense with a 3-for-4 day, including a game-breaking–three-run homer off Kyle Drabek. Mike Moustakas had a solo shot as part of a 2-for-3 performance with a walk. Alcides Escobar went 2-for-3 with a double and three runs scored. Yordano Ventura threw six scoreless innings before giving up a leadoff home run to Jose Abreu to start the seventh and leaving with a severe cramp in his right thumb. Meanwhile, the White Sox managed just five hits, and their starter, Jeff Samardzija, was charged with five runs in six innings, walking three against just one strikeout.
7:05 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Jimmy Rollins hits a three-run homer off Shawn Kelley to give the Dodgers a 6-3 lead. Longballs have always been Kelley's weakness—he's allowed 1.2 homers per nine in his major league career. Last year was his first full season below 1.0, and even then he was sent packing. That was an eight-pitch battle in which Rollins clawed his way back from 0-2. Here's his homer via @ChadMoriyama:
7:05 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Here's Mike Trout robbing that Logan Morrison homer (gif courtesy @FlyByKnite):
7 p.m.: Braves-Marlins
CC: That may be the most Marlins thing ever.
JT: Not until Jeffrey Loria sells the dirt and replaces it with even cheaper, worse dirt.
7 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Andre Ethier, out of the Opening Day starting lineup for the first time in nine years, comes on to pinch-hit and hits a grounder that Alonso misplays, with the ball deflecting off his glove. Alonso finally underhands to Kelley, who misses the base. Cue Yakety Sax. Error ruled on Kelley.
6:50 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Joel Peralta, making his Dodgers debut, works around a one-out Justin Upton single thanks to a Will Middlebrooks GIDP. Shawn Kelley walks Joc Pederson to start the eighth, and A.J. Ellis butchers a bunt, popping it up. Yonder Alonso maanges to catch it despite getting clocked by Kelley with a forearm to the face.
6:50 p.m.: Braves-Marlins
JT: The Marlins had the bases loaded and no one out in the seventh and get nothing out of it, as Jarrod Saltalamacchia grounds into a double play (third to catcher to first) and Adeiny Hechavarria fouls out to end the frame. It's been that kind of day for Miami, which trails the Braves, 2–1, in the eighth.
6:50 p.m.: FINAL: Mariners 4, Angels 1
CC: And that's the ballgame in Seattle. Mariners win 4-1 behind a typically dominant Felix Hernandez start (7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K) and a big Mariners debut from Seth Smith (two doubles and a triple in three trips, two RBI and a run scored). Dustin Ackley added a solo homer in the fifth off Jered Weaver, who sat in the low-80s for most of his six innings of work, giving up all four runs and striking out just one batter, looking. The Mariners thus start their season where many believe they'll finish it: ahead of the Angels in first place in the AL West.
6:50 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
JJ: I'm told we have a Kevin Gregg sighting in the wild. Cincinnati to be exact, where he has pitched to his usual standard, serving up a two-run homer by Andrew McCutchen to tie the game 2-2. Why you let Kevin Gregg pitch with a lead, I have no idea.
6:45 p.m.: FINAL: Mets 3, Nationals 1
JT: The combo of Blevins and Carlyle step in for the ailing Mejia and nail down the win for the Mets, 3–1, over the Nationals. Bartolo Colon gets the win, Max Scherzer takes the loss in his Nationals debut. Washington's only run came off the bat of Bryce Harper on a long solo homer to right, while the Mets broke it open with a two-run single by Lucas Duda to end Scherzer's no-hit bid in the sixth. That's Carlyle's first major league save at the tender age of 37.
6:45 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: With Fernando Salas on and two out in the bottom of the eight for the Angels, Mike Trout steals a home run from Logan Morrison with a leaping catch at the wall, making it look easy. Fernando Rodney on for the save in Seattle. Still 4-1 M's. So to recap Trout's day: Hit a homer off Felix Hernandez, strike out three times, then rob someone else of a homer.
JJ: Doin' Mike Trout Things.
6:40 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Shawn Kelley induces Juan Uribe to hit into a first-pitch grounder to second. Uribe has seen three pitches today in three plate appearances, and his slow throw to first base allowed Derek Norris' infield single prior to Kemp's go-ahead double
6:40 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Apparently 37-year-old Buddy Carlyle is in the save situation for the Mets instead of Jenrry Mejia, so I'm assuming somebody activated the Postapocalyptic Scenario Drill. Carlyle has a career 5.13 ERA though 284 1/3 major league innings in eight major league seasons strewn between 1999 and 2014, with zero saves.
6:35 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
CC: In Kansas City, Jeff Samardzija gets pulled after walking Alcides Escobar on four pitches to start the seventh. Then his replacement, lefty Dan Jennings, walks Moustakas on five pitches. Jennings the gets the first two outs of the inning, but the first is on a grouder that moves up the runners, so after Jennings strikes out lefty Eric Hosmer, his manager, Robin Ventura, has him intentionally walk switch-hitter Kendrys Morales to load the bases to face lefty Alex Gordon. Jennings gets Gordon to hit a ground ball to second, but Alexei Ramirez and rookie Micah Johnson converge on the ball and it skips under both of their gloves for a two-run single. Ventura then goes to his bullpen for righty Kyle Drabek, a late-March waiver claim from the Blue Jays, and Drabek gives up a three-run homer to Alex Rios, who is now 3-for-4 in his Royals debut. That blows the game open with the Royals taking a 9-1 lead. As for Samardzija, his final line in his White Sox debut is 6 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K. That's an ugly start all-around for a ChiSox team that is hoping to take a big step forward this year.
6:35 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: One Frank Garces, a lefty of whom I've honestly never heard, on for San Diego. Don Mattingly counters by pinch-hittng Scott Van Slyke for Carl Crawford. After falling behind 2-0, Garces intentionally passes Stache Von Smash to bring up Juan Uribe, keying another pitching chzzzzzzzz
6:35 p.m.: Mets-Nationals
JT: Surprise in Washington: Jerry Blevins, not Jenrry Mejia, in to try to close the game for the Mets. Mejia was warming up, but ran from the bullpen to the dugout and into the clubhouse. SNY saying he was experiencing some elbow soreness before the game. Potential big loss for the Mets, but first, they need to wrap up this win. They're up 3–1 in the ninth.
6:30 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Shields is done for the day: 6 6 2 2 2 8 over 95 pitches in a solid Padres debut, though the Dodgers' bats caught up to him. Nick Vincent, on in relief, strikes out Puig but gives up a two-out double to Gonzalez, and the Dodgers tie things up at 3-3 when Howie Kendrick hits one into the right-center gap, with Kemp bobbling it to send him to second base on a close play. James Shields clearly forgot how to win.
6:25 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Yumpin' Yimi Garcia, a 24-year-old rookie who pitched a total of nine major league innings last year, comes on for the Dodgers in relief of Kershaw and notches two strikeouts in a scoreless inning of work. Dodgers still trail, 3-2, at the stretch.
6:20 p.m: Nationals-Mets
JT: The Mets are three outs away from ruining Max Scherzer's Nationals debut as Jeurys "Famous" Familia pitches a clean eighth. New York is up 3–1.
6:20 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
Kershaw's ERA: 4.50. Last time it was so high after a start: May 4, 2010.— Bill Shaikin (@BillShaikin) April 6, 2015
6:20 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Felix Hernandez is done after 97 pitches. His final line: 7 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 10 K. The only run to score on him was Mike Trout's home run to end an eight-pitch battle in the top of the first. If not for David Price, that would have been the pitching performance of the day to this point. As for Weaver, he was out after six: 6 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 1 K.
6:15 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
Yordano Ventura left the game with a right thumb cramp.— Dan Hayes (@CSNHayes) April 6, 2015
6:15 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: No carryover of last year's magic for Justin Turner, who strikes out swinging at an 85 mph changeup, Shields' eighth strikeout of the day.
6:15 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
JT: Rain delay over in Cincinnati, as Liriano and Cueto both come back out despite the 35-minute wait. Still 2–0 Reds in that one in the sixth inning.
6:15 p.m.: FINAL: Orioles 6, Rays 2
JJ: The Orioles' defense of their AL East title is off to a solid start as they down the Rays, 6-2. Chris Tillman was solid, scattering seven base runners over 6 2/3 innings, with Evan Longoria's solo homer accounting for Tampa's only run off him. Travis Snider went 3-for-04 with a pair of RBIs in his Orioles debut, while Alejandro De Aza, Steven Pearce and Ryan Flaherty all homered. Chris Archer allowed the first two of those in a rocky outing of 5 2/3 innings, with his first-inning throwing error costing him a run.
6:10 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Joc Pederson with a double into the rightfield corner for his first hit of the year. Four of the Dodgers' six hits off Shields have been for extra bases. Pederson then tacks on a bold steal of third, serving to remind that he was a 30/30 guy at Albuquerque last year. A.J. Ellis strikes out and then Justin Turner comes on to pinch-hit for Clayton Kershaw. That's a 6 6 3 3 2 9 line for Kershaw, not his best start.
6:10 p.m.: FINAL: Red Sox 8, Phillies 0
JT: Put a win in the books for the Red Sox, who blank the Phillies, 8–0. Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia each homer twice, as Boston gets all eight runs by way of the dinger. Clay Buchholz was spectacular, with seven shutout innings. The Phillies managed just three hits, only one for extra-bases, while Cole Hamels gave up four homers in five innings. Rough start for what's going to be a long season in Philadelphia.
6:05 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
CC: Yordano Ventura gives up a leadoff home run to Jose Abreu to start the seventh inning in Kansas City, then crumples to the ground in pain from what everyone is hoping is just a cramp in his pitching hand. Ventura didn't seem to be in any pain when he released the pitch, but soon after completing his follow through felt a sudden, extreme pain in his right hand, jumped up in the air, threw his glove to the ground, and fell to his knees behind the mound holding his hand, which had become frozen into a sort of malformed claw. That could have been a cramp, but we'll have to wait for word from the Royals to know for sure. It sure was scary, whatever it was. Kelvin Herrera is now in the game for the Royals, who lead 4–1.
6:05 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JT: Max Scherzer's day is done after 7 2/3 innings following an infield single by Lucas Duda (no, really) and a single by Michael Cuddyer. He exits down 3–1 to the Mets.
6 p.m.: Braves-Marlins
JT: Today's been a comedy of errors for the Marlins, who suffered through a rain delay despite having a retractable roof and are now down 2–1 to the Braves in the sixth as they fail to get Eric Young Jr. at home on a fielder's choice off the bat of Nick Markakis. Julio Teheran's been great for Atlanta: 5 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K.
6 p.m. Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Make it a two-homer day for Hanley Ramirez in his return to the Red Sox, as he crushes a Jake Diekman offering off of the foul pole in left for a grand slam. Red Sox now pounding the Phillies, 8–0, in the ninth.
6 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Nice diving catch by Joc Pederson in right-centerfield on a Middlebrooks drive.
5:55 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JT: The Rays draw closer to the Orioles, picking up a run in the eighth on an Asdrubal Cabrera RBI double, but they leave two men in scoring position when Evan Longoria pops out to second base. Baltimore immediately answers with a home run by Ryan Flaherty to make it 6–2 in the ninth.
5:50 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: King Felix, clearly not pleased with having lost the battle against Trout in the first inning, has struck him out twice since, both times swinging. After six innings, his line is 6 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 BB, 8 K, 87 pitches.
5:50 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Mets add a run when Travis d'Arnaud hits one to the wall and Michael Taylor can't get it. He winds up at third as Juan Lagares scores. 3-1 Mets.
5:45 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Bartolo Colon escapes a two-on, two-out jam by striking out Wilson Ramos to keep it 2–1 New York over the Nationals through six. The ageless one has been stellar for the Mets: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Who needs Matt Harvey when you have Bartolo?
5:45 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
JJ: In KC, Jeff Samardzija serves up an opposite-field home run by Mike Moustakas, the first of his career.
CC: Gotta love the Royals. Moustakas is asked to bunt in his second at-bat, then goes oppo (moose) taco in his third.
5:40 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
JT: Rain delay in Cincinnati, with the Reds on top of the Pirates, 2–0, in the fifth inning. Francisco Liriano's been a little wild in that one for the Pirates, walking three in five frames and balking home a run. Johnny Cueto's been near perfect for the Reds, with just two hits and a walk allowed against six strikeouts.
5:40 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: New Mariners right fielder Seth Smith is jumping all over Jered Weaver in Seattle. After doubling and tripling in his first two at-bats, he hits a ground-rule double in his third trip to drive in Brad Miller with the fourth Seattle run. Smith is now slugging 2.333 with seven total bases in three at-bats as a Mariner. 4-1 Seattle after five.
5:40 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Kershaw working around a leadoff double by Clint Barmes, whose unfortunate incident with venison was recounted by Vin Scully earlier in the game. Kershaw strikes out Shields and Myers, who would have seen the two of them batting back-to-back two years ago, but then Derek Norris beats a Juan Uribe throw to first base for an infield single. High drama time in LA with Matt Kemp stepping in .
5:35 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JT: A bizarre sequence in the top of the eighth inning in Tampa. Steve Pearce walks, followed by a Travis Snider double. Pearce heads home, the throw beats him by a mile, and he's called out to end the inning ... but the O's challenge, and the play is somehow overturned. Pearce apparently got in under Rene Rivera's tag, despite Rivera having the ball well before Pearce slid into home. 5-1 Orioles lead.
CC: I saw Pearce called out and assumed the inning was over. Should point out that happened with two outs after Adam Jones was hit by a pitch and picked off first.
5:35 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Dustin Ackley adds to the Mariners' lead by leading off the bottom of the fifth with a towering home run to right on an 81 mph "fastball" from Jered Weaver. 3-1 Seattle.
5:25 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Mets get a potential rally going with a two-out walk of Granderson, then Wright's blooper falls in on an error by Ian Desmond. Clearly some confusion over whose that was between him and Dan Uggla. Scherzer's no-hitter is intact but Duda with a chance to give the Mets the lead and he plates two runs with a single to right-center.
5:25 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Clay Buchholz puts two on in the seventh, then gets out of thanks to a brilliant pick by Dustin Pedroia and a strikeout of Freddy Galvis. 4–0 Red Sox over the Phillies, seven excellent frames from Buchholz.
5:25 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Carl Crawford plates Kendrick with a double to right-center. The Dodgers are teeing off on Shields with three extra-base hits in their second time through the order
5:20 p.m.: FINAL: Rockies 10, Brewers 0
JT: It's a final in Milwaukee, as Colorado cruises to a 10-0 win. Three hits for Tulo and Arenado, seven scoreless for Kyle Kendrick. As for the Brewers ... well, no one got hurt, at least.
5:20 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Jered Weaver found a few extra ticks in the bottom of the fourth, hitting 87 with a cutter and pitching 84-85 with his fastballs, rebounding from the third with a 1-2-3 fourth inning. Still 2-1 M's after four.
5:20 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Everybody's mashin' taters. Adrian Gonzalez ties the game at 1-1 with a solo shot down the rightfield line off Shields. One pitch later, Howie Kendrick triples to centerfield after Myers loses a ball in the sun just as he nears the wall.
5:15 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
CC: The Royals add two more against Samardzija in the bottom of the third after Alcides Escobar leads off with a double, is bunted to third by Mike Moustakas (because Ned Yost) and scores on a Lorenzo Cain single. Cain then stole second, moved to third on a Eric Hosmer groundout and scored on a wild pitch by Samardzija, a splitter in the dirt that catcher Tyler Flowers had no hope to block. 3-0 Royals after three.
5:15 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
JJ: Home run by Jay Bruce in Cincinnati as Pete Rose defends Joey Votto's hitting approach and ribs Votto critic Marty Brennaman during an on-camera interview. 2-0 Reds over the Pirates.
5:15 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JT: Our first no-hitter alert of the late slate of games: Max Scherzer is through five against the Mets, with five whiffs and just one walk. 1–0 Nationals in that one.
5:10 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JJ: Evan Longoria puts Tampa Bay on the board for the first time in 2015 with a solo homer to centerfield off Chris Tillman with one out in the seventh inning. it's the 3rd time Longoria has homered on Opening Day, but the Rays are still down 4-1. And one out later, Tillman's day is done at 95 pitches: 6 2/3 4 1 1 3 4.
5:10 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
5:10 p.m.: Reds-Pirates
CC: Francisco Liriano hands the Reds a run in the bottom of the third inning in Cincinnati by first walking Johnny Cueto, one of the worst-hitting starting pitchers in baseball. Then, after Cueto was replaced on base by Billy Hamilton via a fielder's choice and Hamilton was moved to third by a Joey Votto single, Liriano balked Hamilton home to put the Pirates in an early 1-0 hole.
5:05 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Clay Buchholz looking very much like his former top prospect self: Six shutout innings, one hit, eight strikeouts. Granted, that's against the Phillies' sadness factory of a lineup, but still, the Red Sox have to be happy with what Buchholz has done today after a horrible 2014.
JJ: Have they sold out of the hard liquor yet at Citizens Bank Park?
JT: Ruben Amaro bought it all and will trade it for a draft beer system three years from now.
JJ: But only if the beer is from today.
5:05 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JT: Bryce Harper hits his first homer of 2015, a moonshot to rightfield off of Colon. 1–0 Nationals in the bottom of the fourth. By the way, Max Scherzer hasn't given up a hit in that one yet. Quite a team the Nationals have there.
CC: I can't believe Harper's hair game has gotten even worse, but I hope he hits 40 homers this year.
5 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: In Seattle, Austin Jackson snaps a streak of 13 straight batters (on both teams) retired with a two-out double down the left-field line off Jered Weaver, who continues to throw 83 mph or below. Seth Smith, who doubled in his first Mariners at-bat in the first, follows by tripling past a diving Kole Calhoun in right to tie the game, then scores on a single up the middle by Robinson Cano, 2-1 Mariners. King Felix has his lead.
4:55 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JJ: Down at the Trop, Travis Snider gets some rugburn diving for a Kevin Kiermaier liner. Chris Tillman has held the Rays scoreless through six, scattering three hits and three walks while striking out four. It's 4–0 Orioles.
4:55 p.m.: Brewers-Rockies
JT: More embarrassing for the Brewers: Getting shut out by Kyle Kendrick for seven innings, or giving up two hits to him? Colorado all over Milwaukee, 10–0, in the eighth inning of that one.
4:50 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Clayton Kershaw showing no mercy to the opposing pitcher:
CC: It's crazy that he can keep that pitch on the corner. Looks like it's going to break way inside, then just drops down on the black.
4:50 p.m.: Royals-White Sox
CC: Salvador Perez starts the scoring in Kansas City with a two-out RBI double in the bottom of the second off the White Sox' Jeff Samardzija. Prior to that hit, Alex Gordon, who had been hit in the right thigh by a pitch, slid hard into rookie Micah Johnson at second base, breaking up a potential double play. 1–0 Royals after two.
4:50 p.m.: Braves-Marlins
JT: A rain delay in Miami sends the Marlins and Braves into the dugouts in the second inning. 1–0 Braves in that one. Yes, a rain delay at a stadium with a retractable roof. Go figure.
4:45 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Bartolo Colon gets solid contact in his first at-bat of the year, flying out to centerfield. You can tell that Kevin Long has been working with him.
Bartolo Colon had 2 hits in 2014. Kevin Long said he asked Bartolo to have his goal be 4 hits this season. Colon said, how about 3.— Robert Brender (@robertbrender) February 28, 2015
JT: A Bartolo Colon single off Max Scherzer would definitely be a sign of the apocalypse. 0–0 in that one still.
4:45 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Kershaw with a much more typical second inning: seven pitches, three outs. RE:
This is the first time in five career Opening Day starts that Clayton Kershaw has ever been trailing.— Dodger Insider (@DodgerInsider) April 6, 2015
Meanwhile, Shields has set down six Dodgers in a row since the Rollins single. 1–0 Padres.
4:45 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Hamels is done in Philadelphia. 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, four homers allowed. It took him 100 pitches to get 15 outs as the Phillies trail the Red Sox, 4-0.
4:40 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JJ: Meanwhile at the Trop, the Orioles have moved ahead 4–0 thanks to a two-run Alejandro De Aza homer and a solo shot by Steven Pearce. The Rays' attempt to answer the first of those two homers ended with a play at the plate in which James Loney was ruled out on the throw. Replay review showed that O's catcher Caleb Joseph was not improperly blocking the plate.
4:35 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Jered Weaver pitches around one-out Seth Smith double despite not topping 83 miles per hour on the radar gun. Weaver got Robinson Cano to ground out and Nelson Cruz to pop out to second despite his fastball registering as a changeup on MLB.com's Gameday. I'm not confident he can keep succeeding like that however, as I wrote in mid-March.
4:30 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JJ: Bartolo Colon escapes a two-on, no-out jam with strikeouts of Bryce Harper and Ryan Zimmerman. Showing the kids what he's got yet again:
4:30 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Kershaw escapes the first with no further damage, striking out Justin Upton looking and then getting Will Middlebrooks to hit into a force. Continuing the theme of familiar faces in new colors, Jimmy Rollins starts his Dodgers career with a single up the middle off new Padre James Shields. Shields strikes out Yasiel Puig, then gets a break when Middlebrooks spears an Adrian Gonzalez line drive and nearly doubles Rollins off first, then runs down a nubber by Howie Kendrick.
4:30 p.m.: Braves-Marlins
JT: The Braves strike first against the Marlins as $44 million man Nick Markakis hits an RBI single off Henderson Alvarez. Atlanta up, 1-0, but with that weak lineup, that may be all the run support that Julio Teheran gets.
4:30 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Laser Show in full effect in Philadelphia as Pedroia drills his second homer of the day, taking a Cole Hamels fastball to left to give the Red Sox a 3-0 lead in the fifth. After a David Ortiz strikeout, Hanley Ramirez obliterates a pitch to left for his first Red Sox homer to make it 4-0. Hamels' trade value taking a hit today with four homers allowed.
4:25 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Felix strikes out the side around the Trout homer. The Angels clean-up hitter in this game, by the way, is Matt Joyce. Here are Joyce's isolated slugging (SLG - AVG) numbers from the last five seasons: .236, .201, .188, .184, 129. After Pujols in the three-hole, there's not a hitter who worries you in the final two-thirds of the Angels' order.
4:20 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: Mike Trout wins an eight-pitch battle with Felix Hernandez by hitting a home run to dead centerfield just beyond the reach of Austin Jackson. 1-0 Angels after two batters.
JJ: My AL MVP pick > my AL Cy Young pick.
4:15 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JT: Max Scherzer has to work a bit, throwing 20 pitches in the first and walking Curtis Granderson, but he gets through the inning unscathed. No score, Nationals coming to bat against Bartolo Colon.
4:15 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Here's three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw, taking a break from the Amish beard to go with two-week scruff. He starts the season by grazing Wil Myers on the right knee on an 0-2 pitch.
4:15 p.m.: Angels-Mariners
CC: No surprises in either lineup in Seattle, but a simple comparison of the starting nines and starting pitchers shows pretty clearly why the Mariners are considered the AL West favorite this year.
4:10 p.m.: Dodgers-Padres
JJ: Pregame, Vin Scully paying tribute to the late Billy DeLury, the Dodgers former traveling secretary whose links to the team go all the way back to Brooklyn 1950—as long as Scully himself has been with the Dodgers. DeLury passed away over the weeked at the age of 81.
4:10 p.m.: FINAL: Blue Jays 6, Yankees 1
CC: Miguel Castro, who finished last year in High-A, goes 1-2-3 against the heart of the Yankee order to nail down Toronto's 6-1 win in the Bronx. An impressive start for the Blue Jays.
4:10 p.m.: Nationals-Mets
JT: Mets-Nationals now underway, featuring some guy named Scherzer on the mound for Washington.
4:05 p.m.: Orioles-Rays
JJ: We're through three innings at the Trop with the Orioles still up 1-0 and the Rays still searching for their first hit, though they have drawn two walks. Travis Snider hit a blooper near the leftfield line in the fourth but got nabbed at second base when Tampa Bay's Desmond Jennings skipped his throw right to the bag in time.
4 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
CC: The Brewers' fourth-inning rally falls short against Kyle Kendrick and we're still waiting for our second run from a trailing team this season. 10-0 Rockies in Milwaukee.
4 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Cole Hamels' audition to be a member of the Red Sox by the trading deadline is not going so great. Through three innings: two homers allowed and 64 pitches. Looking like it'll be a short day for him. 2-0 Boston.
JT: It's certainly working out well for the Phillies' unintentional rebuild.
3:50 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Blue Jays reliever Miguel Castro comes on to make his major league debut against Mark Teixeira with two outs in the eighth, men on first and second, and the Jays up 6-1. On his first pitch, lead runner Didi Gregorius, who was hit by an Aaron Loup pitch earlier in the inning, takes off for third and is thrown out easily by Russell Martin. Joe Girardi is not pleased.
3:50 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
JT: Brewers fans, now might be a good time to find something else to do with your afternoon. A four-run fourth inning has the Rockies up 10–0 on Milwaukee. Three-hit days for Tulo and Arenado.
JJ: Just remember, the Rockies opened 22-14 last year and 13-4 in 2013.
3:45 p.m. Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Most Valuable Mookie: The Red Sox' pint-sized centerfielder drills a ball to left for a solo homer, his first of the season, to make it 2-0 Boston and begin his campaign to unseat Mike Trout as baseball's greatest player.
JJ: The Mookie Hype is through the roof but that's a good start to his year.
3:45 p.m.: Rays-Orioles
JJ: Shifting over to the Rays-Orioles game, it's 1-0 Baltimore in the top of the second. The O's put a run across in the first on a throwing error by Chris Archer on Alejandro De Aza's slow roller, a Manny Machado walk, an advance on a fly ball and then a two-out single by Travis Snider, their most significant pickup of the offseason.
3:40 p.m. Rockies-Brewers
JT: Tulowitzki with his third hit of the day, a single off new Brewers pitcher Michael Blazek. Please stay healthy, Tulo. Please. PLEASE.
3:40 p.m.: FINAL: Tigers 4, Twins 0
JJ: Joe Nathan comes in and strikes out Torii Hunter looking to get his 2015 season off to a strong start. Price (8 2/3 0 0 0 5, 101 pitches 75 strikes) and Cespedes (2-4, 2B, 3B) the big heroes for Detroit.
3:35 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
JT: Here's Kyle Lohse's day in a nutshell: He gave up a double to the pitcher. Kyle Kendrick very much winning the battle of the Kyles, as Lohse leaves the game in the fourth with Milwaukee down 7-0.
JJ: 7-0 Rockies? TOUCHDOWN
CC: You be illin'.
3:35 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Jose Iglesias with a fine back-handed play in the hole to get Eduardo Escobar at first base to start the ninth. He could provide a big boost for the Tigers infield—that left side was just brutal last year. Brian Dozier's two-out single in the ninth inning on Price's 99th pitch not only deprives him of the Maddux, it brings Brad Ausmus out of the dugout, but only for a pep talk. After an infield single by Joe Mauer, however, Price is done for the day, one out short of pitching just the second complete-game shutout on Opening Day in the past 12 years .
3:30 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Drew Hutchison is out after six innings and 93 pitches. He was sharp, allowing just five baserunners in six innings, the lone Yankee run coming on Brett Gardner's home run in the sixth. That's a nice way to start the season for the 24-year-old, who could prove to be crucial to the Toronto rotation as the middle man between soft-tossing vets R.A. Dickey and Mark Buehrle and rookies Daniel Norris and Aaron Sanchez, the latter two of whom may have to contend with innings limits. Hutchison threw 184 2/3 innings last year and should be unlimited this year. Aaron Loup worked a 1-2-3 inning in relief in the seventh. 6-1 Toronto after seven.
3:30 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
JJ: Scooter Gennett providing the highlight of the afternoon for the Brewers so far:
3:25 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
Devon Travis 1st player to hit a HR in his MLB debut on opening day since Jason Heyward did it for Braves in 2010.— Jeff Quagliata (@yestoresearch) April 6, 2015
3:25 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: If he doesn't come out for the ninth, Brad Ausmus is doing it wrong
JJ: Price's line so far is 8 3 0 0 0 5, 86 pitches
3:20 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
JT: Make it 6-0 Rockies in the third inning as Arenado again hits a ball very very hard. His second hit of the game is his first homer of the season, a shot to left field. Lohse has not had the most fun Opening Day so far.
3:15 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Devon Travis, who had never played above Double A prior to today, homers off lefty Chasen Shreve for his first major league hit leading off the seventh, races around the bases and pantomimes high fives when his teammates give him the silent treatment. Travis is now 1-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored in his major league debut. The Blue Jays have gone with talent over experience in multiple places on their roster. It has thus far paid off with Travis. As for Shreve, he faced five batters and gave up five fly balls. That's not going to work in the new Yankee Stadium, even if four of those balls were caught this time around.
3:15 p.m.: Rockies-Brewers
JT: Kyle Kendrick got in trouble, loading the bases with one out in the second but escaping with a scoreless inning. Meanwhile, Tulo lashes his second double of the game. Again, let's all contemplate a full season of a healthy Tulo. Perchance to dream.
3:10 p.m.: Red Sox-Phillies
JT: Dustin Pedroia starts Boston's season with a bang, getting a homer just over the wall in right with one out to give the Red Sox a 1-0 lead. He had a wrist injury that sapped his power last year; it'll be interesting to see if he can rebound to his line-drive stinging ways.
JJ: That has to be a good sign for the Red Sox given how far he's fallen off in the power department by playing through a million hand injuries, his slugging percentage has fallen for four straight seasons. Pedroia, 2010–14: .493, .474, .449, .415, .376. ISO: .205, .167, .160, .114, .098
3:05 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: The Yankees become the first trailing team to score a run this season as Brett Gardner leads off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to right. Again, the formerly slap-hitting Gardner hit 17 home runs last year, more than doubling his previous career high in his age-30 season. Could it be that wasn't a fluke? 5–1 Jays. The most remarkable thing about Gardner's 17 homers last year is that he actually hit the majority of them (9) on the road. His power is not just a product of the short porch in the Bronx.
3:00 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Another 1-2-3 inning from a newly-acquired rookie reliever out of the Yankees' bullpen, as lefty Chasen Shreve gets three fly balls against Dioner Navarro, fellow rookie Dalton Pompey, and Kevin Pillar. Shreve was acquired from the Braves with David Carpenter for Manny Bañuelos at the beginning of the year. He made 15 appearances for Atlanta last year.
3:00 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Hughes yields to J.R. Graham in Detroit, finishing the day with 6 IP 8 H, 4 R (4 ER), 1 BB 6 K, two homers allowed and 93 pitches. His Twins trail Detroit, 4–0, in the seventh.
2:55 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Price with another 1-2-3, 79 pitches through seven, with just three hits allowed, all singles. Four strikeouts, zero walks.
J.K. Simmons warming in Tigers bullpen ...— Lynn G. Henning (@Lynn_Henning) April 6, 2015
JT: Can't be any worse than Joe Nathan right now.
2:55 p.m.: Brewers-Rockies
JT: Some sweet sweet defense in Milwaukee. With runners on first and third and one out, Adam Lind snags a hot shot by Carlos Gonzalez at first base, steps on the bag, then fires home to get a sliding D.J. LeMahieu for the final out. Keeps it 4–0 Rockies, but Lohse has been getting hit hard.
2:50 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Alex Rodriguez again leads off an inning by getting on base, cracking an opposite-field single to start the fifth, but is again stranded at first base. Rodriguez has reached base twice in two trips. The rest of the Yankees have reached base twice in 17 trips. 5–0 Jays after five.
2:45 p.m.: Brewers-Rockies
JT: 1-2-3 first inning for Kyle Kendrick, who strikes out a pair and is definitely going to throw a no-hitter just to make me look stupid. 4–0 Rockies after one in Milwaukee.
2:45 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Six-foot-eight rookie righty Chris Martin strikes out Bautista, Encarnacion and Donaldson in order in relief of Tanaka in the fifth. The 28-year-old Martin was signed out of the independent leagues by the Red Sox prior to his age-25 season. He made 16 relief appearances for the Rockies last year and was purchased from Colorado by the Yankees in January.
2:45 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Yoenis Cespedes with a towering triple to centerfield thanks in part to a misplay by Schafer, who just couldn't get a glove close enough. He may have been worried about the wall, to be fair. Cespedes is now slugging 1.600 this year, and he comes home on a shallow line drive of a sacrifice fly by Nick Castellanos, 4–0 Tigers in the sixth.
JT: That would've been a home run in virtually any other park in baseball. Comerica just goes on forever in center.
2:40 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Price gets out of his jam with a three-pitch strikeout of Santana and then a lightning-quick GIDP off the bat of Brian Dozier, 6-4-3. Still 3–0 Detroit there.
2:40 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Masahiro Tanaka is done after four innings and 82 pitches. His final line: 4 IP, 5 H, 5 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. That strikeout total is nice, and Tanaka showed excellent movement on his pitches, but the results were ugly, and he was generally sitting at 89–91 mph with his sinker. The only four seamer I saw came in at 93 and went back out for a two-RBI single.
JJ: That has to be read as a particularly unsettling start under the circumstances.
CC: Agreed. As much as his pitches were moving nicely and he managed to pile up the strikeouts, he looked tentative, and it didn't come as a surprise when the Jays broke through for a five-run third inning. He's just not the pitcher the Yankees had in the first half last year, and one wonders if he can be again without having his elbow operated on.
2:35 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Price getting into his first jam of the day after allowing back-to-back singles to Kurt Suzuki and Jordan Schafer with nobody out to turn the lineup over.
2:35 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: With Mark Teixeira on first via a two-out walk, Brian McCann tries to bunt against the shift, but it goes foul. He then pulls one between Edwin Encarnacion and the first-base line for a double, pushing Teixeira to third. That was the Yankees' first hit off Drew Hutchison. However, Chase Headley grounds into the shift to strand both runners. Still 5–0 Toronto after four.
2:30 p.m.: Brewers-Rockies
JT: In case you'd forgotten what a healthy Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki can do: CarGo doubles with one out in the first, Tulo follows with a double of his own to drive him in. 1–0 Rockies.
JT: Make it 2–0 Rockies as Nolan Arenado drills an opposite-field double to score Tulo. A fully healthy season from him would go a long way toward offsetting the inevitable injuries to Tulo and CarGo.
JT: Well, guess the Rockies won't need much from Kendrick today as Corey Dickerson unloads on a Kyle Lohse fastball and sends it deep to right. 4–0 Rockies in the first.
CC: Nice start for a potential breakout player.
2:25 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
JJ: Yankees fans are the best. Here's one trying to throw back Edwin Encarnacion's homer (key word there: "trying").
CC: Tanaka strikes out the side in the fourth, but not before putting men on first and second via a Kevin Pillar single and stolen base (disputed but not reviewed by the Yankees) and Jose Reyes walk. It also took Tanaka nine pitches to strike out Russell Martin to end the inning. He's at 81 pitches after four frames. Yankees still looking for their first hit.
JJ: Erik Boland says Tanaka's on a pitch count around ~90 today.
2:20 p.m.: Brewers-Rockies
JT: We're underway in Milwaukee, as Kyle Lohse and the Brewers take on Kyle Kendrick and the Rockies. This is the point where we remind you that Kendrick, with his career 91 ERA+, was Colorado's marquee off-season addition.
CC: The Rockies are batting Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki second and third, apparently trying to maximize their at-bats before they break again.
2:20 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Kennys Vargas with a single down the leftfield line for the Twins' first hit, roping a Price breaking ball that was left over the plate.
2:15 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Hughes escapes a two-on, one-out jam by getting Iglesias to ground into a force and then catching Rajai Davis looking at a four-seamer on the inside corner. He's still on the wrong end of 3-0, though.
2:10 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Another base hit for Alex Avila, who singles to left for his second opposite-field hit of the day. Nice to see him off to a strong start after a very rough season last year
2:05 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Twelve up, twelve down for David Price. He is dominating the Twins, who if nothing else should have a pretty solid offense this year.
2:05 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: The only Yankee to reach base the first time through the order is Alex Rodriguez, who drew a walk to lead off the bottom of the third but was stranded on first base when Stephen Drew flew out, Didi Gregorius popped out in his first Yankees at-bat and Jacoby Ellsbury hit a weak chopper to first. 5-0 Toronto after three.
JJ: Just as we predicted: Alex Rodriguez has been the highlight of an otherwise grim season for the Yankees.
2:00 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Hughes gets his first 1-2-3 inning of the day by retiring the heart of the Tigers' order—Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and J.D.—on 10 pitches, punctuated by a whiff of the latter. 3-0 Tigers through 3, Twins still looking for their first base runner.
1:55 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Having been saved from their own attempt to bunt out of a big inning, the Blue Jays have one anyway with Edwin Encarnacion hitting a two-run homer to make it 5-0 with one out in the top of the third. With Tanaka approaching 50 pitches after the Encarnacion homer, the Yankees' bullpen is already busy in in the top of the third.
JJ: Cue five more days of handwringing in the local papers, not unmerited given this egg.
CC: Tanaka gets out of the third thanks to a couple of nice plays from new shortstop Didi Gregorius, but the Jays' 5–0 lead is a hole the Yankees' lineup will have difficulty climbing out of. Alex Rodriguez to lead off the bottom of the third.
1:50 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: The groundball-to-third thing fails Tanaka again as Kevin Pillar leads off the third by pulling one up the third-base line just under the glove of the diving Headley, but Gardner turns the apparent double into a single by pouncing on the carom and getting off a strong throw to second. Rookie second baseman Devon Travis then draws a walk in his first major league plate appearance to turn over the order. Jose Reyes follows with a bunt (headslap), but it works out when Chase Headley jerks the throw, allowing Pillar to score and putting runners at second and third for Russell Martin. 1-0 Blue Jays.
CC: And Martin wastes no time taking advantage, singling home both runners on the first pitch he sees, a 93-mph four seamer from Tanaka. 3-0 Jays, still no outs.
JJ: I still think that letting Martin go looms as one of Brian Cashman's bigger mistakes. (Also one of Ned Colletti's, but he made so many it's tough to keep track.)
CC: Agreed. Huge blunder. I don't think it was a coincidence that the Pirates made the playoffs the following two years while the Yankees missed both years. Given the history behind both teams, that was a major shift when Martin left New York. You wonder now what Martin going to Toronto will do for the Blue Jays and to Pittsburgh.
JJ: It's a blow to Pittsburgh, but very interesting that they dipped into the Yankees' stock of catchers again by trading for Francisco Cervelli, who needed the change of scenery as he was never going to surpass Brian McCann.
1:45 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Bonehead play in Detroit: After Jose Iglesias singles and steals second, he made a mental mistake by trying to advance to third base on a grounder to shortstop Danny Santana, who made the easy throw to third for the out. Welcome back, Jose.
1:45 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Lefties Mark Teixeira, Brian McCann and Chase Headley avoid the shift by striking out looking, popping out to third and striking out swinging, respectively. Scoreless after two in the Bronx.
1:40 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Hughes follows the Martinez homer with a one-out double to Yoenis Cespedes, making his Tigers debut, and two batters later serves up a two-run shot to Alex Avila. So much for that theory, Cliff.
1:35 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Tanaka is going with a recipe of strikeouts and ground balls to third, but with the infield pulled around on Dioner Navarro batting lefty, Chase Headley had to run over and try to backhand a grounder to his natural position and is unable to. Two-out infield single for Navarro, the first baserunner for Toronto. Tanaka then changes his gameplan and gives up a long fly ball to right for the last out of the inning. Scoreless after 1 1/2.
1:30 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: David Price with another 1-2-3 inning, highlighted by a backwards K of Torii Hunter. 0–0 in Detroit after 1 1/2.
JJ: And just like that, we have a run: J.D. Martinez homers off Phil Hughes to right-center for his first dinger of the year and the first for anyone of the 2015 season. Martinez was a pleasant surprise for the Tigers last year, bopping 23 homers after being plucked off the scrapheap
CC: Pair of 2014 breakout players there, one who had a spike in home runs, one who benefited from limiting his homers.
JJ: Perhaps Hughes has decided that limiting the longballs isn't for him. "I tried it, and we still finished 70-92. I'm going back to what works for me." Eyeballing the graphic on the Tigers' broadcast, Hughes went from allowing one homer for roughly every 100 pitches in 2013 to one for every 200 in '14. Ballpark played a part, no doubt, but it was still an impressive turnaround.
CC: Hughes did introduce a sinker last year and got a bit more ground balls, but was still an extreme fly-ball guy. He was also better on the road than at home. Go figure.
JJ: Well, Minnesota is the Gopher State.
CC: Hughes in 2014: 11 homers in 106 innings at home, five homers in 103 2/3 innings on the road. By those numbers, that was his road homer for the month.
1:25 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: An excellent catch by Jose Bautista leaving his feet up against the rightfield wall to snag a line drive by Brett "I hit 17 home runs last year" Gardner helps Drew Hutchison answer Tanaka with a 1-2-3 inning of his own.
JJ: Brett Gardner: a quiet reminder that the Yankees' farm system hasn't been totally bereft of position player production in the past decade.
CC: Since Robinson Cano, yes, though Gardner's a consistent 4-win player. He's also the most tenured Yankee after A-Rod.
1:20 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Masahiro Tanaka works a 1-2-3 first inning, staying low in the zone with sinkers, sliders and splitters and topping out at 91 miles per hour. He opened by striking out Jose Reyes on three pitches, low, lower, and lowest, then struck out Jose Bautista after a Russell Martin groundout.
1:15 p.m.: Tigers-Twins
JJ: Ian Kinsler strokes a sharp single to leftfield for the Tigers' first hit of the season
1:15 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: For those curious, Alex Rodriguez has had a generally positive reception in the Bronx. The Bleacher Creatures just included him in the roll call, even though he's the DH and not on the field.
1:05 p.m.: Yankees-Blue Jays
CC: Interesting note in the Blue Jays' lineup: John Gibbons, as he did in one of the Montreal exhibition games, is starting backup catcher Dioner Navarro at designated hitter and leaving Justin Smoak on the bench. That's his best lineup, but leaves him without a backup catcher, meaning he'll lose the DH if Russell Martin has to come out of the game for any reason. I think it's a brave decision, but it's very much one that goes against the old-school book of leaving your backup catcher in a glass box to be broken only in case of emergency. With Navarro in the lineup, the Blue Jays' bench is Smoak, a switch-hitter, and righties Steve Tolleson and Danny Valencia. Tolleson, primarily an infielder, is the backup outfielder.
Jon Tayler: Welcome, everyone, to Opening Day! It's been roughly 40,000 years (or, you know, 15 hours) since we last saw a live baseball game that mattered, so today's smorgasbord of action is a wonderful thing indeed. Along with me are Cliff Corcoran and Jay Jaffe to provide some thoughts on the day's slate. Guys, anything in particular you're looking forward to in this wave of baseball?
Cliff Corcoran: Happy Opening Day, everyone. Those looking for a full preview of today’s action can peruse the menu here. The way I see it, the big game today pits the radically rebuilt Padres against the defending NL West champion Dodgers and Best Pitcher In Baseball Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium, but that’s just the glorious tip of a very large iceberg. The Cubs and Cardinals are off today after St. Louis beat Chicago 3-0 last night, but all of the other 28 teams are in action for the largest Opening Day in major league history.
I’m curious to see what Masahiro Tanaka and his damaged elbow have to offer against the Blue Jays in the 1:00 hour and also eager to see the revamped Toronto lineup with Russell Martin and Josh Donaldson and rookies Dalton Pompey and Devon Travis. Running opposite to the Padres-Dodgers game, the Angels-Mariners matchup in Seattle is worth catching with King Felix on the mound and the M's as favorites to unseat the defending AL West champion this year. The White Sox-Royals game in Kansas City is also compelling, with the Royals coming off their World Series appearance and the White Sox having significantly upgraded coming off an 89-loss season; it’s not clear going into this season which is the better of those two teams.
Jay, Jon and I will be here to try to catch as much of the action as possible through the end of the 4 p.m. games, and I’ll be back tonight with a recap of all the day’s action. Play ball!
Jay Jaffe: Welcome to Opening Day. I'm pretty excited for today's slate of Maximum Baseball, and especially to see the Clayton Kershaw-James Shields matchup, particularly in light of the big Dodgers-Padres blockbuster. Also hoping to see Masahiro Tanaka look a whole lot more like he did in the first half of last season instead of his abbreviated comeback, but perhaps that's a pipe dream given the state of his UCL.