Happy Opening Day!! Our long national wintry nightmare is finally over as the 2011 season kicked off today with an abbreviated schedule, but there was plenty of wackiness to go around.
Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez led off the season with back to back home runs for Milwaukee.
–They became the first team to lead off a season like that since the 1969 Reds. The 1969 Reds lost that game too.
—To repeat, Carlos Gomez hit a home run. 409 feet, too. That’s his longest home run since 2007, and second longest of his career (per the excellent Hittracker).
—-The Reds scored four in the ninth off John Axford with a sac fly and a three-run walkoff homer from Ramon Hernandez.
The winning run in the St. Louis-San Diego game scored on an error by Ryan Theriot. Score one for grit.
-Albert Pujols grounded into three double plays. That’s a first for Albert.
Jeff Francoeur homered, Melky Cabrera went 3-4, and Kansas City pitching (behind Opening Day starter Luke Hochevar) surrendered only one walk. Kansas City still lost.
-Also in that game, Jeff Mathis had two hits, one of them a home run. For what it’s worth, Mathis started hot last year too en route to being one of the worst players in the Majors.
One of the better Opening Day duels was between Derek Lowe and Livan Hernandez.
Russell Martin stole third. He now has as many steals of third in his one-game Yankee career as Jorge Posada has in his seventeen seasons.
The Giants-Dodgers game featured probably the best pitching matchup of the night, and Tim Lincecum and Clayton Kershaw didn’t disappoint. Both would have thrown seven shutout innings were it not for the Giants defense collapsing in the sixth: Matt Kemp drew a one out walk, and then James Loney grounded one to short. Miguel Tejada, who should not be playing shortstop anymore, threw the ball away, allowing Kemp to go to third. Lincecum then plunked Juan Uribe, loading the bases. Buster Posey then attempted to pick Kemp off third, but threw the ball away, leading to a very unearned run. Tim Lincecum got a “loss” for that.