Starting with some early slugfests and ending with a Red Sox-Yankees matchup, Sunday was a beautiful day to play baseball. Let’s take a closer look at what happened around the league as Major League Baseball’s long-anticipated Opening Week came to a close
Picking up exactly where 2021 left off, Tampa Bay finished off the sweep of Baltimore by a final score of 8-0. The Rays have now won 15 straight against the Orioles dating back to last season. The Rays will try to remain unbeaten as Oakland comes to the Trop for a 4-game series, while the O’s play their home opener and try to get into the win column against the Brewers.
The White Sox started strong against Tarik Skubal and the Tigers scoring five runs through the first five innings but blew things wide open with a four-run 7th inning. The White Sox have an off-day on Monday before hosting Seattle on Tuesday, while Detroit will welcome the Red Sox into town as Miguel Cabrera conceivably could reach 3,000 hits before the series is over.
The Blue Jays jumped out to an early 6-0 lead, but the Rangers roared back scoring 12 unanswered runs for a final score of 12-6. Toronto won two out of the three games in the series in comeback fashion, but couldn’t pull off the sweep on Sunday. The Blue Jays begin a 4-game series in the Bronx against the Yankees on Monday, while the Rangers have an off-day before their home opener against the Rockies on Tuesday.
After being shut out in 10 innings on Saturday, the Cleveland bats woke up on Sunday as the Guardians put up a 10-spot on the Royals by the end of the 2nd inning. The defensive-minded Royals surrendered a total of 17 runs on 22 hits during the blow-out. The Guardians and Royals will play the fourth and final game of the season-opening series later today.
Minnesota got the bats fired up with a Gary Sánchez grand slam and a pair of Byron Buxton blasts to take an early lead on the Mariners. The Twins held on for their first win of the season after a Mitch Haniger homerun brought Seattle back within striking distance. The Twins and Mariners face off once more on Monday as Minnesota aims to split the series.
The Angels led the Astros 1-0 by virtue of a Jack Mayfield homerun until Alex Bregman singled in the fifth and a subsequent Mike Trout error allowed Jose Siri to score as Houston held on to win Sunday’s contest 4-1. The Astros won three out of four against their AL West foe to open the season. The Angels host the Marlins for a two games series starting on Monday while the Astros also face an interleague opponent by visiting the Diamondbacks.
Known as one of the best rivalries in all of sports, the Red Sox faced off against the Yankees as the finale to MLB Opening weekend. As per usual, the game between these teams was hard-fought and knotted up at three runs apiece until a decisive Bobby Dalbec home run put the Red Sox up once and for all. The Red Sox head to Detroit to face the Tigers, while the Yankees host the Blue Jays in what promises to be an exciting series.
The Cincinnati Reds spilt the season-opening series two games apiece with the reigning World Series Champions by winning Sunday’s game 6-3. Atlanta pitcher Ian Anderson was chased after only 2 2/3 innings but the bullpen held fairly strong allowing Atlanta to get back within three by virtue of Matt Olson’s first home run in an Atlanta uniform. The Reds have an off day today and will face the Guardians for an intra-Ohio matchup on Tuesday, while Atlanta will host the Nationals for a 3-game series.
The Nationals avoided being swept by the Mets after an emotional series, winning on Sunday 4-2. Carlos Carrasco pitched 5 2/3 innings allowing only one earned run off two hits before back-to-back off-target throws by Pete Alonso in the bottom of the 8th opened the door for the Nats to take advantage. The Nationals travel to Atlanta for Monday’s game while the Mets visit the Phillies in a pair of NL East Showdowns.
The Pirates got in the win column even after a Nolan Arenado homerun put the Cardinals up early. The Buccos took the lead on a Michael Chavis Grand Slam in the third and never looked back en route to a 9-4 victory. The fourth and final game of the season-opening series takes place today.
The Brewers avoided being swept by the Cubs to start the year winning 5-4 on Sunday. Seiya Suzuki said see ya to a baseball as he launched his first MLB home run, but it wasn’t enough as the Brew crew clawed back into this game and the bullpen didn’t allow an earned run after the first inning. Milwaukee hits the road to face the Orioles on Monday while the Cubs have an off day before visiting Pittsburgh on Tuesday.
The Dodgers lost 9-4 to the Rockies on Sunday dropping them to a 1-2 record to start the season. The bright mid-day Colorado sun wreaked havoc on the outfielders as multiple baseballs dropped in on seemingly routine plays. LA has an off day on Monday before heading North to play Byron Buxton and the Twins on Tuesday, and the Rockies head south to face the Rangers later on today.
Jurickson Profar hit a grand slam in the second to put the Padres up and they never looked back, going on to win against the D-backs 10-5 and place them in sole possession of first place in the NL West Division. A tougher test awaits as the Padres visit the division rival Giants for three games, and Arizona hosts the Astros.
It’s been three one-run games in three days for the Marlins and Giants, as San Francisco got the better of Miami on Sunday winning 3-2. The Giants host the Padres beginning on Monday, and the Fish stick around in California to visit the Angels.
Around the League
Sunday’s lone interleague matchup featured the Oakland Athletics visiting the Philadelphia Phillies for the third of a 3-game series. The A’s avoided the sweep, winning the game 4-1 with RBIs from Tony Kemp and a picture-perfect slide into home from Cristian Pache. The A’s head south to take on the Rays tonight, while the Phillies host the a 3-game series against the division rival Mets.
The Nationals City Connect cherry blossom jerseys made their on-field debut this weekend and based on how well they have been received, you could argue they are the current gold standard for alternate jerseys in MLB. The Astros debuted their “space city” city connect jerseys on Sunday and no matter how you feel about the Astros organization I think we all can agree on one thing. Dusty Baker is going to make that outfit look good.
With this jersey, we remind the world…
Hours before the Red Sox took on the Yankees in New York they announced the extension of 25-year old reliever Garrett Whitlock with a four-year deal worth $18.75 million. Whitlock’s deal with the Red Sox also runs through 2026 with options for the 2027 and 2028 seasons. Last season, during his rookie year, Whitlock pitched 73.1 innings and had an ERA of 1.96 which was the lowest among rookie pitchers with at least 70 innings pitched.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)