Well with the first official day of baseball coming to a close, here are some things I have gathered from it. Granted not everyone officially started their season or is finished today so sorry for leaving those out that could potentially be mentioned. With that being said, some great insight still has been gathered from Opening Day and Opening Night, so here’s what I learned.
1. Bryce Harper is the real deal, but he’s got to have help.
In case you didn’t know, Bryce Harper homered in his first two at-bats in the Nationals Opening Day 2-0 win over the lack luster Marlins. This makes him the youngest player to hit 2 homeruns on Opening Day. Ah yes, the baseball stats are back. What a showcase by the young star, but man his team did absolutely nothing around him. He went 2-4 with the only run scoring hits while the rest of his team went a measly 3-22. Yes it’s only the first day and guys will get into the “swing” of things but just my observations after this first day. That’s all for my talk on Harper, I feel like there’s already been enough of that already, sorry if you wanted to hear more. I’m sure you could flip to ESPN, right now to hear more about him and his historic day.
2. The Houston Astros are legit.
April Fools! Yeah I got you with that one. No they are not legit, but in all seriousness they did have an impressive showing in their Opening Night, American League debut against their rival, the Texas Rangers. Winning 8-2, they looked like the ones who would be running the show in the AL West, but it’s only the first game and there’s 161 more to go, and I think we all have a pretty good idea about where that is for the Astros. Still, they did have an impressive first game showing which has to be encouraging for the fans and the entire outlook of a franchise that has been looking bleak over the past few years. Also, congratulations to Manager Bo Porter for his first career win as a manager. What does this important first win of the season mean for the Astros? That at least they can’t go “defeated”.
3. The “Best Rivalry” in baseball has lost its edge.
That’s right, I said it, the Yankees and Red Sox rivalry has lost its edge. In complete contrast of the picture above, I watched some of it today and it just didn’t really have that same zest. It could be because half of the Yankees starters are on the Disabled List and it could be because the Red Sox are going through a little bit of a rebuilding mode themselves. Either way, it just didn’t feel the same. It was a blowout win for the Red Sox, winning 8-2 to get on to a good start for the year. Even with the Yankees out with a bunch of starters, it still has to feel good for a Red Sox team looking for something positive this year. Maybe they’ll be a little better than I have predicted, and maybe the Yankees are a little less than I originally thought; we’ll have to wait a see.
4. Watch out for the New York Mets and their high-octane offense.
April Fools again!!! Oh man you should have seen your face! Now the Mets don’t appear to have a high-octane offense like they showed today, and it was against a team like the Padres, but nonetheless they did score a lot of runs. It was an impressive performance that deserves some recognition. They won 11-2 in an absolute onslaught led by the grand slam hit by Collin Cowgill. Wait…who? That’s the kind of lineup the Mets have, with the exception of David Wright, but today could be an inclination of a team that could be sneaky this year. No, they surely won’t stay on their run scoring pace, but maybe they got a little more juice than people give them credit for. Either way, when you score in double digits, you are going to get some love and rightfully so, especially “right off the bat” to start the year.
5. Interleague play all season is going to be awesome!
Finally! Both leagues will play all year long and it will certainly make for some more exciting baseball. The Angels and Reds kicked off the first ever interleague game on Opening Day in a nail-biting 13-inning affair with the Angels winning 3-1. It’s about time this full season inter-league play has happened. Yeah the constant flipping back and forth from DH to pitcher hitting might start to get annoying for teams, which could lead to discussion about the whole league being under the same rules, but that’s for another discussion. You can read up on our view on that in the blog in our article “Designated Hitter to the National League?”. As it is, this is here to stay and I can’t wait to see all the intriguing matchups it produces for the entire season.
Even with more games still to be played, for teams that haven’t yet played, these are the main things I took away from Opening Day. You can count on the Deep South Sports Blog to be covering baseball all season; we are in it for the long haul. We are just as excited as you are that it’s back!