Welcome to MLB Roundup, a weekly recap of all things you as a fan need to know throughout the league! Opening week was a huge success for the MLB, starting with opening night on Thursday.
Yankees: 4 @ Nationals: 1 (F/5)
In the rain shortened opener, the new Yankee ace took the Nationals to ‘Cole World’ on Thursday, as he led the Yanks to their first win of the season.
Washington D.C. became Gerrit Cole’s world on Thursday night. If we want to get technical, Cole threw a ‘complete game’ one-hitter in the five innings he threw. On top of Cole’s impressive outing, Giancarlo Stanton was back doing Giancarlo Stanton things, hitting a two-run home run in the first. It was all Yankees and Gerrit Cole in the first game of the season.
Giants: 1 @ Dodgers: 8
In the L.A. opener, the Dodger bats were hot. The biggest bat for the Dodgers was not MVP favorite Cody Bellinger or newly added Mookie Betts, rather it was long-time Dodger Enrique Hernandez. ‘Kike’ Hernandez came out of the gates hot with a four hit performance, along with five RBIs. Although Hernandez may have been the star of the show, nine different Dodgers recorded a hit, making the boys in blue look like the sultans of swing while at the dish.
Friday’s Biggest Storylines
Shane Bieber Strikes Out 14 Royals Hitters
Bieber penned his name in as a Cy Young candidate on his first start of the season. In Cleveland’s 2-0 victory against the Royals, the young right-hander had no problem with the Kansas City line-up. In what was a dominant start by Bieber, you have to ask. Is it too late for him to say sorry to KC?
Kyle Hendricks leads the Cubs to Win their Home Opener
Class was in session on Friday! The Professor, Kyle Hendricks, threw an impressive three hit, nine strikeout, complete game shutout. Offensively it was Anthony Rizzo and Ian Happ‘s home runs that led the charge for the Cubbies. Safe to say that Hendricks and the Cubs were feeling good in sweet home Chicago.
Boston Bombers Double Baltimore to Death
For one night, the Red Sox line-up did not miss the presence of Mookie Betts. In their 13-2 rout of the Orioles, Boston had ‘Double Vision’ as they hit eight doubles on Friday night.
Saturday’s Biggest Story-lines
Edwin Diaz Blows Another Save in New York
After a strong outing from the Mets bullpen on Friday, New York managed to blow their late lead on Saturday. Marcell Ozuna was down to his last strike before Diaz gave up the game-tying home run. After the Braves tied it up in the ninth, they went on to win in extra innings.
Atlanta got their first win of the season, which is certainly a storyline for Braves fans. But the bigger storyline here are the struggles that Diaz has endured since joining the Mets. On Saturday night, the former Mariner continued his troubles, and furthered his bad reputation with Mets fans.
Lance McCullers Jr. Makes his Long Awaited Comeback to the Astros Rotation
Next, we head down to Houston, where McCullers Jr. made his first start of the 2020 season. The Astros’ right-hander threw six strong frames in Houston’s second win of the season. Although the Astros are cheaters and fun to hate on, it is exciting to see one of the game’s young and upcoming stars step into the limelight after a brutal injury.
Trouble for Shohei Ohtani in His First Start
One of the game’s brightest stars in his first outing back from injury, what could be more exciting? How about the Athletics lighting him up and getting him out of the game in the first inning?
It was a sad state of affairs for baseball fans watching Ohtani in Oakland Sunday afternoon. The two-way star did not record an out and gave up five earned runs. His velocity was not where it was before the injury. A lot of bad for Ohtani in his first start back. Not what you want to see if you are an Angels’ fan or believer. I am hoping he is not a ‘fallen angel,’ because L.A. is going to need him for big innings down the road.
The Orioles, Tigers, and Marlins are 2-1???
Yes, you read that right! What’s more surprising is that each team went on the road and took two out of three in their respective series. The Tigers won two nail-biters against the Reds. In Philadelphia, the Marlins shocked the Phillies and took two out of three. After the thrashing the Orioles took on night one, they took the last two games in Fenway. Got to love baseball and all the shocking upsets that come from it!
Tampa Bay Wins in Extras to take Series from Jays
Tampa took out former Cy Young Award Winner, Blake Snell after two innings of work, which left most Rays’ fans scratching their heads. But the Rays were able to come out victorious. The Blue Jays had trouble closing it out, as they blew their two run lead in the ninth. Toronto closer, Ken Giles, left with an undisclosed injury, and the Rays took advantage. After Tampa lost its opener, they won two in a row which leaves them still standing atop the AL East, alongside the Yankees.
Atlanta Braves rout Mets on Sunday Night Baseball
In what was a blowout from the start, every Brave joined in on the fun. All nine starters have had one hit or more. Rick Porcello was pulled after two innings, giving up seven hits and six earned runs. After their blowout victory, Atlanta has joined the Marlins atop the NL East. But after the season Opening Day loss, the Braves found their groove in the Big Apple.
Hot Hitters of the Week
In Game-1 against the Pirates, Goldy went 2-for-3 with two runs scored. After a strong start to the season, the Cardinals first-baseman continued his production in game-2. Goldschmidt hit his first home run of the season. In the series finale, Goldy did not make as much noise as he did in his two prior games. But, the former Diamondback was a key producer in the Cardinals’ series win.
Stanton came out of the gates hot, hitting two 450+ foot home runs in his first two games played. His third game proved to be a little less productive, but that’s the nature of the beast when facing one of the game’s best in Patrick Corbin. Be on the look out for a comeback season for Stanton as he has started his season hot.
Two home runs in his first two games, the veteran first baseman has started the season with a hot bat. Granted, he was up against one of the worst pitching staffs in the Detroit Tigers, but Votto showed that he is ready to produce in this new-and-improved Reds line-up.
In Game-one in Chicago, Cruz made an impact, scoring twice and going 2-for-4. But that is minor in comparison to the numbers he put up in the final two games against the White Sox. In the next two games, the veteran DH put together a hot stretch with 10 RBI. Of the 14 runs scored by the Twins Sunday, Cruz knocked seven of them in.
Match-Ups to Look Out For
This upcoming week brings us some exciting match-ups between division rivals. The Chicago Cubs visit the Cincinnati Reds for a 4-game set.
Chicago Cubs @ Cincinnati Reds
Every series matters in this 60-game season, especially the divisional rivalries. So when the Cubs visit the Reds for a four-game set, it does not matter when it occurs, there are still heavy playoff implications.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Houston Astros
How about a 2017 World Series rematch? Starting on Tuesday, the Dodgers and Astros face off in a two-game set. Will the Astros be able to hit Dodger pitching without the usage of trash cans? This question and many more will be answered when they face off on Tuesday.
St. Louis Cardinals @ Minnesota Twins
Two teams that are going to compete for their respective division titles face off for a two-game set starting Tuesday.
Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
Of course, this game has to be on the match-ups to look out for, as it’s one of the greatest rivalries of all time. Even though the Yankees are better on paper, the games will be entertaining to watch regardless.
Thoughts and Prayers to Justin Verlander
It had been announced that Astros ace Justin Verlander would be shelved the rest of the season due to an elbow injury, but Verlander wuickly cleared up those rumors.
Opening Week Conclusion
Every game matters in this shortened 60-game season, so all 30 teams want to jump out of the gates hot. With the push for the postseason starting at the beginning of the season, Opening Week can set the tone for contending teams. As the season progresses, each game will matter. So if you miss out on any of the action, the MLB Roundup will be out weekly, recapping the previous week’s biggest storylines!
P.S. Enjoy Baseball While You Can
Just a quick heads up for all you MLB fans, the Marlins are now postponing their trip home. I do not know exactly what this means for the season, but it is not what we, as fans, wanted to see. If any other teams do jump on board as well, we may be without baseball. So enjoy baseball while you can!
STAY SAFE FOLKS
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