By: Nick Pooler
It was eventful and it was fun. In the first day of baseball, the stars did not disappoint. It all started when the first pitch of 2018 was a solo home run off the bat of Cubs outfielder Ian Happ. He was not the only one to do this in their first at-bat as George Springer of the Astros started their season off strong with a blast in his first at-bat. But the one that stuck out the most was Giancarlo Stanton. In his debut in pinstripes he demolished two baseballs over the fence in the Yankees convincing 6-1 victory in Toronto. Eduardo Nunez got the first inside-the-park home-run when he split the two Rays outfielders and the ball bounced all the way to the fence as he sprinted around. Finishing up on the home run part, the White Sox put on a home run derby. This included six long balls for the boys from Chicago. Jose Abreu had 1, Tim Anderson had 2, and Matt Davidson became the fourth ever player to hit 3 home runs on opening day in their crushing 14-7 win over Kansas City.
There were also some walk-offs and extra inning games. Nick Markakis let the Atlanta fans know that they were here to play this season as the crowd erupted when Markakis hit a walk-off homer to lead the Braves over the Phillies. Adam Jones followed that up with a 11th inning bomb to win it for the Orioles. This one isn’t exactly a walk-off, but the Rays showed that they will never give up when they scored 6 runs in the 8th inning off of Red Sox relievers Carson Smith and Joe Kelly. This was capped off by a Denard Span bases loaded triple. They held off the Sox in the 9th to get the win. Chris Sale only gave up one hit and struck out 9 and left with the no-decision. Marcus Semien won it for the Athletics with an 11th inning walk-off single over the Angels. Also in this game, Shohei Ohtani got his first career major league hit. The Brewers held off the Padres in 12 innings 2-1 in a close game. Oswaldo Arcia with the go-ahead single in the top half of the 12th.
Lastly, the pitching was tremendous. Several low scoring games on the day that were strictly based off of strong pitching. As mentioned earlier, Sale going 6 innings with 9 strikeouts and no runs on 1 hit. Noah Syndergaard of the Mets had 10 strikeouts in his victory over the Cardinals. Dylan Bundy and Jake Odorizzi had a pitchers dual in Baltimore until it tossed to the bullpen to finish it off. Justin Verlander did not give up a run in his first opening start with the Astros in their 4-1 win over the Rangers. Luis Severino also did not give up a run in their 6-1 win over the Blue Jays. Chase Anderson and Clayton Richard were also involved in a great pitching matchup, in a game that was decided in extra innings 2-1. In a weird outcome, Ty Blach outdueled Clayton Kershaw. Kershaw gave up one run on a barely home-run off the bat of Joe Panik in their 1-0 loss to the Giants. Corey Kluber also went 8 innings giving up 2 runs, but did not get any effort from his teams bats as they fall to the Mariners 2-1. Lastly, King Felix did not give up a run in his opening day start.
All of these games were fantastic to watch and for sure were a great start to the 2018 season. Keep up to date with Sports Media Plus for more information.