What Happened Last Night: Baseball! Opening Day! Only 161 Games To Go
Did you watch? It was a beautiful day for baseball yesterday, fresh air and warm weather and planting yourself by the television for 10 straight hours.
The Red Sox smacked the Yankees.
Vernon Wells batted 5th. This is the same guy the Yankees just traded for, a player who is a shell of his former self, a player who, naturally, is overpaid. Jon Lester returned to his 2011 form in his opening day start, allowing two runs over five innings and striking out seven. C.C. Sabathia, meanwhile, wasn’t at his sharpest, laboring through a 4-run second inning before settling down and eventually being pulled after five innings. But with this Yankees offense – without Derek Jeter, without Curtis Granderson, without Mark Teixeira, without Alex Rodriguez – there just wasn’t enough firepower to come back. Remember: Vernon Wells = 5th batter. Kevin Youkilis, who is years beyond his prime, hit 4th. No Yankee collected more than one hit, and by the end of the day it was an 8-2 route at Yankee Stadium. Oh, and the Yanks set an opening day record with a $230.4 million payroll. To have Vernon Wells bat 5th.
Bryce Harper homered twice in a 2-0 Nationals victory.
Everything about the Washington Nationals’ 2-0 win over the Miami Marlins was picturesque: star of the future – and present – Bryce Harper smacked two home runs in his first two at-bats, Stephen Strasburg shut down Miami over seven innings, allowing three hits on 80 pitches, and the bullpen tandem of Tyler Clippard and Rafael Soriano sealed the door shut for the win. Miami, meanwhile, is in for what looks to be a long season. After all the offseason turbulence due to owner Jeffrey Loria’s roster purging, things aren’t looking too bright. And though we can’t fault them for putting up zeros against Strasburg, we don’t expect that offense to produce much of anything as the season rolls along. The Nationals’ however, look to be the World Series contender everyone predicted them to be.