MLB Opening Day Roundup: Sale, Snell Struggle

Getty Images

Aces Chris Sale & Blake Snell Struggle, Lose

The Boston Red Sox and Tampa Bay Rays made losing starts to their MLB seasons on Thursday.

But not everyone shared the Sox and Rays' misfortunes on MLB Day #1.

Teams across MLB set a record for home runs hit on Opening Day with 48 and the Los Angeles Dodgers tied a record for most by a team in a single game with eight.

And, Houston Astros star George Springer became the first leadoff man in history to hit a home run on three straight Opening Days.

But for Rays and Red Sox fans, the Thursday struggle was real.

First, for Tampa Bay, Blake Snell got knocked around to the tune of five runs in six innings with three homers allowed. This included a three-run dinger to Springer on a hanging curveball.

Snell won the American League Cy Young Award last year, but some believe he is a candidate for regression, given a FIP significantly higher than his stunning 1.89 ERA of 2018.

But hold on. This was just one game - the first of the season - against a potent Astros lineup. A 5-1 loss is not anything to panic about... yet.

For Boston, Chris Sale was just given a five-year, $145 million extension by the Red Sox. However, he showed the same diminished velocity he did at the end of 2018.

That may be something to start worrying about.

He also gave up six hits, seven runs, two walks and three home runs in three innings of work in a 12-4 loss to the Seattle Mariners.

Again, it's not even nearly time to panic. But...

Wonderful Kolten Wong & More

On another diamond, St Louis Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong went 2-3 with two home runs and three RBIs in a 5-4 loss to the Milwaukee Brewers. Clearly, Kolten cannot be blamed for the loss. 

Javier Baez went two-for-five with two home runs and four RBIs in the Chicago Cubs' 12-4 win over the Texas Rangers.

And Dodgers outfielder Joc Pederson went 3-4 with two home runs and four RBIs in Los Angeles' 12-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Meanwhile, New York Mets reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom tossed six innings of shut-out ball with 10 strikeouts in a 2-0 win over the Washington Nationals.

Also, Blue Jays starter Marcus Stroman and Tigers pitcher Jordan Zimmerman both tossed seven shut-out innings - a genuine pitchers duel -  in Detroit's 2-0 extra-inning win over Toronto.


Ender Inciarte, Chris Davis struggle

Back in the National League East, Atlanta Braves center fielder Ender Inciarte went 0-4 with three strikeouts in a 10-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.

And Orioles slugging first baseman Chris Davis went 0-3 with three strikeouts in Baltimore's 7-2 loss to the  formidable New York Yankees.

Finally, Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman made a nice catch on a hot shot to third in Oakland's 4-0 win over the Los Angeles Angels.

The rest of the days results below:

Thursday's MLB Scores

New York Yankees 7-2 Baltimore Orioles
New York Mets 2-0 Washington Nationals
Milwaukee Brewers 5-4 St Louis Cardinals
Philadelphia Phillies 10-4 Atlanta Braves
Detroit Tigers 2-0 Toronto Blue Jays
Houston Astros 5-1 Tampa Bay Rays
Chicago Cubs 12-4 Texas Rangers
Oakland Athletics 4-0 Los Angeles Angels
Cincinnati Reds 5-3 Pittsburgh Pirates
Los Angeles Dodgers 12-5 Arizona Diamondbacks
Colorado Rockies 6-3 Miami Marlins
Minnesota Twins 2-0 Cleveland Indians
San Diego Padres 2-0 San Francisco Giants
Kansas City Royals 5-3 Chicago White Sox
Seattle Mariners 12-4 Boston Red Sox


Friday Spotlight: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays

Astros' World Series hero Charlie Morton makes his first start of the year against his former team as the new Rays starter takes on the Astros' Gerrit Cole at the Trop.

In Related News: The Yankees lineup is stacked and dangerous. Just ask their new shortstop, Troy Tulowitzki