Posts Tagged ‘Opening Day’

For anyone not paying attention, Major League Baseball had its season premiere Sunday April 3 and it didn’t start in Cinncinatti.  This year it was in Pittsburgh, who started off strong, just like the division rivals and everyone’s favorite to win the World Series, the Chicago Cubs.  

They started off strong in Anahiem  with a Dexter Fowler double to right, who scored on a ground ball to Mike Trout by Anthony Rizzo. Fowler would go on to collect two more singles and another run on a ground ball to short in the top of the 7th by Kris Bryant, while Rizzo would round the bases in the fourth, scoring on a single by Jorge Soler. 

The biggest surprise of the night, especially for me would have to be Miguel Montero.  If you were listening today on Sports Time Radio, I told the Big Jack that I loved the lineup put together by Joel Maddon besides the Catcher spot and to chalk it up as outs.  Now he must have been listening because he made me eat my words. He went 2 for 5 with a single in the fourth, scoring Kris Bryant, whose patience paid off by reaching first on a walk.  Miguel would go on to send a two run blast to right field in the sixth, giving Soler his second Run of the night and taking the honor as the first Cub to hit a home run for the 2016 season.  

The last of the action came in the top of the ninth with the top of the order.  Fowler would reach on a walk and then pushed over to third on a Ben Zobrist single to right. He would move over to second on another walk by Bryant.  Matt Szczur, who was a defensive substitution for Kyle Shwarber, who went 0-4 with two strikeouts, in the bottom of the seventh came up to bat in the ninth, clearing the bases with a double to left.  This secured the win for the Cubs at 9-0.  

Jake Arrieta showed why he was the 2015 Cy Young Award recipient, holding the Los Angeles Angels of Anahiem to two hits and no runs through 7 striking out 6 with only 1 base on balls.  Solid outing for Jake but we would see Justin Grimm come into the game in the eighth, giving up a lead off double to C. J. Cron but with the help of some great defense by Heyward, Rizzo, Chris Bryant & Addison Russell, the side is retired with no damage.  Travis Wood came into the game in the bottom of the ninth with a huge lead but was able to retire the Angels in order, giving the Cubss they’re first W of the year.  

They were able to score a lot of runs last night, which secured the win but for me, I’d like to see less than 12 strikeouts per game but as long as they win, no one is going to care how often they strikeout.  Game 1 of 162 and it started off strong!



So counting today it’s just four days until the 2016 Major League Baseball season starts. The St, Louis Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Pirates start the season off at Noon followed by the Toronto Blue Jays taking on the Tampa Bay Rays. The night game features a rematch of last seasons World Series as the New York Mets take on the Kansas City Royals. All these games will be broadcast on either ESPN or ESPN-2. Now as you look at the schedule for Sunday April 3rd you’ll notice there’s a fourth game on the schedule. It has the Chicago Cubs taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. This is just an exhibition game and while these two teams will open the regular season against each other on Monday this games doesn’t count in the standings. Now this is an incredibly stupid game scheduling. If you;re the Cubs or the Angels there’s no way you can play even one of the guys on your 25 man roster in this game. Why is this game even here? Just imagine if one of these tams starters got injured in this stupid game the day before the season is schedule to actually start. I would love to hear MLB try to explain why they put this game hear because I’m sure they have a very stupid reason for it, but it’s always good for a laugh when they try to make sense of something like this.

With the regular season getting ready to start we’ll be making our predictions for the 2016 season. I believe that Dan the Man and Schaumburg Stu have there’s all ready to go. I am in the process of finishing mine and I believe we’re still waiting on Mr. Fantasy to turn his in. I will get them all organized and they will appear right here in the Saturday blog as well

Last night the Minnesota Wild beat the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 to sweep the season series; winning all 5 games the teams have played against each other. Unfortunately the Wild’s dominance of the Blackhawks this season wasn’t the story of the game. With 9:27 left in the 1st period Blackhawks defenseman Duncan Keith was ejected for swinging his stick and catching Minnesota Wild center Charlie Coyle in the face. Keith was assessed a match penalty for intent to injure and is suspended until the NHL can review the play. Keith has had an incident like this before was knocked to the ice by Coyle and retaliated by swinging his stick while laying on the ice. Coyle was left with blood dripping down the bridge of his nose. The penalty left the Blackhawks shorthanded for five minutes, though the Wild did not score during the extended power play. The ejection left the Blackhawks without two key defensemen since Brent Seabrook missed the game because of illness. Keith has had an incident like this before. He was previous suspension, in the 2013 playoffs for swinging his stick and hitting Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter in the face. The Blackhawks have 5 games left in the regular season. Friday night against the Winnipeg Jets, April 3rd against the Boston Bruins, April 5th against the Arizona Coyotes, April 7th against the St. Louis Blues and April 9th against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Now I wouldn’t be surprised if the NHL keeps Keith out for the rest of the regular season. Now Keith is one of the best defenseman in the NHL and the Blackhawks would miss him in those 5 games. This may not be the worst thing for Keith. He plays a lot of minutes for the Blackhawks and the time off might be good for him heading into the playoffs. The Blackhawks are trying to repeat as Stanley Cup champions. A feat that hasn’t been done since the Detroit Red Wings did it in 1996-97 and 97-98 seasons.

The Washington Capitals have clinched the President’s trophy. The President’s Trophy is an award presented by the NHL to the team that finishes with the most points during the NHL regular season. As the team with the best regular season record, the President’s Trophy winner is guaranteed home-ice advantage in all four rounds of the Stanley Cup playoffs, provided they advance that far. However, it does not guarantee that success; only eight of these winners have gone on to win the Stanley Cup. The last team to win both the President’s Trophy and the Stanley Cup in the same season was the 2012–13 Chicago Blackhawks. The Capitals last won the President’s trophy in the 2009-10 season, but they where beaten in the Quarterfinals by the Montreal Canadiens. I mentioned us making picks a little earlier and in case you don;t remember Dan the Man had the Capitals winning the Stanley Cup at the start of the season.

If you’re a New York Mets fan you had to be a little concerned when the news came out that Matt Harvey was going to miss his last spring training start. The reason that was giving was that Harvey had a non-baseball related issue. At that time there was also a chance that Harvey would miss his schedule opening day start against the Kansas City Royals. As it turned out Harvey was dealing with a blood clot in his bladder as well as a bladder infection. Now the Mets play their last spring training game today against the Washington nationals and luckily for Harvey his medical issues have cleared up and he’s going to start the game today and will be on schedule to start opening day for the Mets. Harvey is schedule to pitch 2 innings against the Nationals and then Noah Syndergaard who was originally schedule to make today’s start will take over on the mound. Harvey is 1-1 with a 6.30 ERA in three starts this spring while Syndergaard has a 2.04 ERA in four appearances.

It seemed like there where reports all winter long that the Texas Rangers might add a catcher. Well they waited until the end of spring training to make a deal. The Rangers acquired catcher Bryan Holaday from the Detroit Tigers in exchange for catcher Bobby Wilson and righthander Myles Jaye. Holaday who is from Dallas has had a terrific spring training, but he found himself 3rd on the Tigers depth chart at catcher behind starter James McCann and off-season acquisition Jarrod Saltalamacchia. Holaday was out of minor league options; so the Tigers could expose him to waivers and hope he wasn’t claimed by another team or deal him; which they choose to do. Holaday was recently scratched from Monday’s game to get a thumb issue checked out, but was cleared for action. The Houston Astros where another team that had been reported to be looking for a catcher this spring. On Monday they completed a deal with the San Diego Padres for catcher Eric Kratz. The Padres/Astros trade is believed to have expedited the deal between the Tigers and the Rangers for Holaday.

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It’s just 1

Posted: April 7, 2015 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports
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The baseball off season was very exciting in Chicago. The Cubs went out and signed the top starting pitcher on the market (Jon Lester) to a 6 year $155 million dollar deal. They also signed Jason Hammel to a 2 year $20 million dollar deal to round out the starting rotation. The Cubs also sent Dan Straily and Luis Valbuena to the Houston Astros to get centerfielder Dexter Fowler. Now not to be out done the White Sox added 3 players of their own. They signed left handed power hitter Adam LaRoche to a 2 year $25 million dollar deal. They also inked Melky Cabrera to a 3 year $42 million dollar free agent deal. Then the White Sox sent Rangel Ravelo, Chris Bassitt, Josh Phegley and Marcus Semien to the Oakland A’s for starting pitcher Jeff Samardzija.

Now after these signings and deals most if not all fans of Chicago baseball where looking forward to opening day. Well opening day was Sunday night for the Cubs and yesterday (Monday) for the White Sox. Both teams lost their opener. The Cubs 3-0 to the St. Louis Cardinals and the White Sox 10-1 to the Kansas City Royals. Now what surprised me was how after each of these losses was how quickly the excitement that was there in the off season quickly turned to negativity and dislike for each team.

We have two radio stations in Chicago that cover sports 24/7. There’s the one that offers national coverage with a couple of local shows added in; this is the one Dan the Man listens to. Then there’s the station that focuses on just Chicago teams and that’s the one I listen to. I was actually caught off guard with some of the callers to the overnight show I was listening to after both games. I heard everything from wait until next year to the Cubs wasted their money on Lester and the White Sox made a bad trade for Samardzija. It was just 1 game. There are 161 more games left this season.

The Cubs had some good scoring chances and just didn’t get that hit when they needed it. Do fans really think the Cubs will go 0-13 with runners in scoring position every game. They should also factor in that the pitcher they where facing was Adam Wainwright; who is a Top 10 or maybe even a Top 5 pitcher in baseball. Now Lester didn’t have a great outing, but he found a way to limit the damage when he had to. Remember that Lester had some dead arm issues towards the end of spring training and he has to work his way through that. There where 2 things that concerned me with the 1st Cubs game. Lester not being able to make pick off throws to the bases is one. Now he he doesn’t let any runners get on base this won’t be an issues, but you’d have to think that any team who gets a runner on against him would take a shot at stealing a base. The other one was the batting order. I’ve heard all of the reasoning for hitting the pitcher 8th and they always sound like excuses to me. It came back to bite the Cubs a little as Lester came up with a runner in scoring position and 2 outs. Now 1st base was open and they could’ve worked around a guy to get to Lester anyway, but there was no decision involved with Lester at the plate because he was in the 8th spot. I think this move was Joe Maddon trying to prove he’s a wacky guy and he’ll go against the grain. Or it was just a sad cry for attention.

With the White Sox it looks like it was a bad outing for your pitchers. Samardzija really struggled through 6 innings giving up 5 runs on 6 hits while striking out just 1 batter. Samardzija had some control issues as well as he walked 3; hit 2 batters and uncorked a wild pitch. The fans will dump all of the blame on Samardzija since he was the big guy they picked up in the off season, but the 2 pitchers who followed him weren’t any better. The White Sox picked up Dan Jennings to help shore up the bullpen and get lefties out. Jennings struggled on opening day just like Samardzija did. Jennings pitched 2/3rds of an inning gave up 3 runs on just 1 hit while walking 2 (1 intentionally) and striking out 1. Kyle Drabek was the next White Sox pitcher out of the bullpen. Drabek pitched an 1 1/3rd giving up 2 runs on 6 hits with 1 strikeout. Call it opening day jitters or just a bad outing, but don’t forget that the Royals are the defending American League champions and while they haven’t gotten a lot of respect from the baseball experts this off season maybe they’re better than people thought. Maybe you could add in that Yordano Ventura was the Royals opening day starter and he’s an up and coming pitcher in the game of baseball. Ventura along with Kelvin Herrera, Wade Davis and Ryan Madson held the White Sox to 5 hits, but 1 of them was a Jose Abreu home run. If yoou noticed last season that’s the Royals formula for winning. 6 innings out of the starter and an inning each out of 3 relievers to wrap the game up. Hopefully White Sox fans can let this game go unless you think Samardzija is as bad as he was on opening day.

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