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While most teams have started to settle into new routines for the 2023 season, Friday marked the home openers for eight of the last nine teams (the Toronto Blue Jays have to wait until Tuesday). There was pomp. There was circumstance. Oh, yeah, dingers and shutouts, too.
Rays Bedevil A’s, Move To 7-0
Sure, you can take a shot at the unbeaten Tampa Bay Rays for who they have beaten. But the way they have done it makes you wonder if some more of that Rays’ magic is being conjured up. Isaac Paredes‘ grand slam was one of five homers the Rays hit, beating the Oakland A’s 9-5. The Rays are 7-0 (beating the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals and A’s), the first time a team has won the first seven games of the season since the Baltimore Orioles did it in 2016. That the Rays have won all seven by four or more runs is even more impressive. Of course, so are these Devil Rays throwback jerseys. Atlanta in 1982 and the Milwaukee Brewers in 1987 hold the record for the best start to a season at 13-0.
This would've gone way farther if it hadn't hit the moon pic.twitter.com/9OnHnDSiM7
— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 7, 2023
The swag is Out. Of. Control. pic.twitter.com/lSscuydY6i
— Tampa Bay Devil Rays (@RaysBaseball) April 8, 2023
It might take some getting used to, but the new patches on the shoulders of uniforms are becoming more widespread. The New York Mets revealed theirs Thursday and then on Friday owner Steve Cohen said it was being changed following backlash on social media. The patch, a partnership with New York Presbyterian Hospital, had a decided Philadelphia Phillies flair. Someone should ask Cohen who approved the final design.
We are excited to show off our Amazin' partnership with @nyphospital. pic.twitter.com/fnpAdSMwH5
— New York Mets (@Mets) April 6, 2023
Atlanta Puts Harris On IL
Reigning NL Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II was placed on the 10-day injured list by Atlanta due to a back strain. It is not expected to be an extended stay on the IL for the center fielder, who was injured when he banged into the wall while making a catch Thursday against the San Diego Padres. Outfielder Eli White was called up to take Harris’ roster spot.
College Ohtani: Pitches No-Hitter AND Hits For Cycle
OK, so this isn’t an MLB item, but deserves some juice. Left-hander Brady Ware threw a no-hitter and also hit for the cycle as Division II Indianapolis beat Drury 14-0 in the second game of a doubleheader. Ware, a grad student from Poway, California, struck out 11 in his seven-inning no-no. He went 4-for-5 with five RBIs and two runs scored. To make it cooler, he did the cycle in reverse order, homering and tripling in an eight-run third inning. In the fourth inning, Ware ripped a two-run double down the left-field line, then completed the cycle with a single in the fifth. With a chance to add on, he popped out to center in the seventh inning. Ware had pitched just 9⅓ innings this season previously and now has a 2.76 ERA. He also raised his batting average to .329. The triple was his first of the season for the Greyhounds (17-11).
⚾️ | @UIndyBaseball's Brady Ware hit for the cycle and threw a no-hitter…
IN THE SAME GAME!!! 🤯
7⃣ IP, 0⃣ H, 1⃣1⃣ Ks
4⃣-4⃣, 2⃣ R, 5⃣ RBI pic.twitter.com/UTlQGBoRFC
— UIndy Athletics (@UIndyAthletics) April 7, 2023
Best Moments From Yesterday
Baseball players are just like the rest of us. We are enthralled by young kids and just want to make them smile. Enter New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole before Friday’s game against the Baltimore Orioles.
Gerrit Cole playing peek-a-boo with a baby in the front row pic.twitter.com/VRS6tXfK6Z
— Talkin' Yanks (@TalkinYanks) April 7, 2023
Home, Sweet Home
Andrew McCutchen returned to Pittsburgh for the first time since signing back with the team he came up with. The reaction by the fans at PNC Park and Cutch were as you might expect.
Welcome home, Cutch. pic.twitter.com/cHI3c2Ikg5
— Pittsburgh Pirates (@Pirates) April 7, 2023
Stick To Your Day Job
Kansas City Chiefs All-Pro tight end Travis Kelce was born in Ohio and apparently is a big Cleveland Guardians fan. He was picked to throw out the ceremonial first pitch at Friday’s home opener. He almost killed Guardians ace Shane Bieber, who was behind the plate for the moment.
Travis Kelce, Dirty First Pitch. 😨
54" inches of drop…and nearly kills Shane Bieber. 😂 pic.twitter.com/fWjiQgcbb6
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 7, 2023
Injuries and Other Moves
Texas Rangers right-hander Jake Odorizzi will miss the rest of the season after having surgery on his right shoulder.
Right-handed reliever Alex Colomé has signed a minor-league deal with the Chicago White Sox and is reporting to Triple-A Charlotte.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Darick Hall was placed on the IL due to a torn ligament in his right thumb. Hall will require surgery. Infielder Kody Clemens was called up from Triple-A.
Articles You Should Read
Guardians fans honor longtime drummer at home opener — Zack Meisel, The Athletic
Dodgers still figuring out late-game bullpen situation — Jack Harris, Los Angeles Times
Lars Nootbar has an unusual path to international stardom — Brad Lefton, New York Times
Fantasy Baseball Coverage
13-0 is the modern record. Those 1884 Maroons whose record the Rays are chasing started 20-0.