(with apologies to Ogden Nash)
Hi, everyone! And welcome to the inaugural edition of Write-Up For Yesterday, BttP’s guide to what the heck happened yesterday in baseball. We’re not gonna just hand you some scores here, because we trust you know how to type the letters E-S-P-N into your internet machine. Instead, we hope to give you a fuller and richer understanding of important goings on from yesterday in baseball. The big stories, and the noteworthy performances-good and bad.
Speaking of yesterday in baseball, there was baseball yesterday! Twelve games of it, in fact! Great googly moogly. If you still have not gotten a lump in your throat about the return of baseball, I recommend checking this out. Okay, you cool? Tears all blinked back? Let’s get to it!
STORY LINES AND NEWS CYCLE EPHEMERA
Well, A’s starter Sonny Gray almost finished the day on a heck of a high note. He took a no-hitter into the 8th inning, before giving up a single to Texas left-fielder Ryan Rua, which: do not try to pretend you know who Ryan Rua is. Elsewhere in that game, Ben Zobrist hit a home run in his first at-bat as an Athletic, which is fun because he is “the most A’s player.” Some people just really like clubhouse bathrooms that don’t work, I guess.
Clayton Kershaw squared off against James Shields as the new-look Padres took on the same-look Dodgers. Neither earned a decision, but they put up nearly matching box scores.
Spooky! Kershaw’s third earned run really bothers my OCD. I’m like, really close to scratching at my computer monitor to try to get rid of it. On the MLB Network last night Harold Reynolds and
A Sentient Butternut Squash Billy Ripken blamed Kershaw’s relative struggles on the Dodgers shifting behind him. They actually criticized shifting because “Abner Doubleday” did not devise the game to be played that way. Gen. Doubleday could not be reached for comment, because he is dead, and also he did not invent baseball.
But the big to-do from this game will likely be the circumstances of Jimmy Rollins‘ tie-breaking, game winning three run homer in the 8th. Shawn Kelley walked Joc Pederson, got an out, committed an error that led to Andre Ethier reaching first, and then gave up the home run. It would have been a pretty good spot to pitch shiny new Padre Craig Kimbrel. The Padres took on 46 million dollars of mostly useless Melvin Upton in order to get Kimbrel, they acquired Shawn Kelley by trading away Johnny Barbato (who you likely remember as the person Johnny Two-Times is talking to in that one scene in Goodfellas), there’s a definite disparity there. Although, there are good arguments against putting Kimbrel into a situation he’s not used to in his first appearance with the team. COUNTER-ALTHOUGH, just because you don’t put Kimbrel out there doesn’t mean you have put Kelley in. The Padres have a certain gentleman named Joaquin Benoit who they thought was going to be their closer until like, two days ago. He’s pretty good. Matt Kemp had three RBIs in his return to LA, which is very cute.
Take your pick, SAWX NATION: Hanley Ramirez and Dustin Pedroia hit two home runs each, but David Ortiz and Pablo Sandoval went 0-for-9 with six K’s. I know which one the decrepit subspecies that refers to itself as “Boston Sports Talk Radio Host” will choose. Mookie “Willie Mays But More Handsome” Betts also got a homer in. And Clay Buchholz struck out nine and looked pretty good! Anyway, the Phillies lost. So it goes.
Elsewhere in SAWX NATION: Boston signed Rick Porcello to a four year/82.5 million dollar extension. It’s a lot of money because Porcello is very young and very durable, but Matt Trueblood once told Ryan Sullivan and A Handsome Person that he was not a big fan of Porcello. I don’t know why a professional baseball team would give money to players Matt Trueblood does not like very much. Seems like a poor business model!
The Tigers dispatched the Twins fairly effortlessly, behind 8.2 shutout innings from David Price. There was a bit of a dust-up regarding the last out of the game, when noted egomaniac Joe West ruled that Torii Hunter did not successfully check his swing on the game’s last pitch. Hunter was very upset, and said so to the media afterward. Inquiring minds can check out the video here, but I’m good sitting out any debate that involves siding with either of those gentlemen.
Masahiro Tanaka struggled in his return from injury, going just four innings against the Blue Jays in a loss. Jose Bautista and Josh Donaldson went 0-for-9 with five strikeouts. Take that, Papi and Pablo.
The Royals drubbed Jeff Samardzija and the White Sox bullpen, scoring ten runs. In the fifth inning, Samardzija gave up a solo shot to Mike Moustakas and then proceeded to plunk Lorenzo Cain with the very next pitch, which Mr. Cain did not take very kindly. He would later accuse Samardzija of hitting him on purpose. A pitcher hitting a batter on purpose? In a baseball game? All my monocles have fallen to the floor in unison. Yordano Ventura had a scary moment, writhing in pain after throwing a pitch in the 7th, but word is it was just a thumb cramp.
Also scoring ten runs today: the Colorado Rockies. Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez looked good, which may encourage Rockies fans to keep their noses out of the bottle for a day or two. The Rockies shut out the Brewers, with Ryan Braun leaving midway through the game with strained ribs. There were audible Wisconsin Badger chants heard in Miller Park once the game was out of reach, which were obviously no help, because Wisconsin lost to Duke and everything is awful.
TWEETS WE LIKED
— Ben Suissa (@bsuissa) April 6, 2015
In a universe filled with uncertainty and randomness, the only constant is AJ Preller and his blockbuster deals #OpeningDay
— Julien Assouline (@JulienAssouline) April 5, 2015
These guys just recorded the first in-person BTTP podcast. pic.twitter.com/mtAlcnYcbi
— Banished to the Pen (@BanishedToPen) April 4, 2015
— Alex (@alexcards79) April 6, 2015
TODAY’S THREE BEST PITCHING MATCHUPS
Tyson Ross (SD) vs. Zack Grienke (LAD) – 7:10 PT
Grienke is still one of the better pitchers in baseball, and if Ross can build on last season’s breakout, he’ll be a lot of fun this year.
Lance Lynn (STL) vs. Jake Arrieta (CHC) – 5:05 PT
Two very good young pitchers who have the potential to be great. Expect Arrieta to throw over to first as soon as he puts someone on base, to be followed by five straight minutes of spontaneous applause at Wrigley.
C.J. Wilson (LAA) vs. James Paxton (SEA) – 7:10 PT
There are only eight games today. I did my best.
Have a great day of baseball, friends! This will be your year, I promise.
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