Busch Stadium (Image: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

Beyond Busch: NL Central Openers & MLB Notes

This week Beyond Busch will focus on the Opening Days of the NL Central teams and provide some notes from the rest of MLB.

Busch Stadium (Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-US PRESSWIRE)

NL Central

Chicago Cubs

The Cubs began the season Thursday against the Washington Nationals. Ryan Dempster got the call to face off against Stephen Strasburg. Dempster was fantastic. He left the game with two outs in the eighth and one runner on. Kerry Wood walked three batters to force in the run. Dempster ended with 7.2 IP, 2 H, 3 BB, and 10 K. Carlos Marmol came in next and allowed the go-ahead run on two hits. In the bottom half of the ninth, Ian Stewart hit a bomb off Nationals’ closer Brad Lidge that was caught up in the April wind and ended up with a triple. Jeff Baker hit a hard grounder to third next and the throw home was in time to beat pinch runner Joe Mather. Lidge struck out Marlon Byrd to end the ballgame.

Cincinnati Reds

The Reds began the season Thursday also, with a game against the Miami Marlins who came into the game 0-1 after losing their home opener to the Cardinals Wednesday night. Tough scheduling for the Marlins. Johnny Cueto took the hill and threw seven impressive shutout innings in the Reds 4-0 victory. The new backend of the bullpen was equally sharp as Aroldis Chapman and Sean Marshall pitched scoreless frames.

Houston Astros

The Astros opened their season yesterday against the Colorado Rockies. Wandy Rodriguez was on the mound for the ‘Stros and he pitched well but was undone by an error of his own and 3 others in a 5-3 loss. Carlos Lee got out to a good start with two hits including a homer and 2 RBI. Astros’ relievers allowed a run each in the eighth and ninth innings.

Milwaukee Brewers

The Brewers were hoping for a better beginning to the season as they faced off against the Cardinals in yesterday’s home opener. Yovani Gallardo was hammered for 4 homers and 7 earned runs in 3.2 innings. The Brewers got off to a good start off of Cardinals starter Jaime Garcia with two runs in the first. The Brewers hope to bounce back against the Cards today with Zack Greinke on the mound.

Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pirates got their home opener off on the right foot against Philadelphia Phillies ace Roy Halladay with back-to-back singles from Alex Presley and Jose Tabata. Andrew McCutchen grounded into a double play. After that Halladay completely shutdown the Bucs for eight innings. The only other runners for the Pirates came via two hit-by-pitches. Jonathan Papelbon earned his first Phillies’ save.

NL East

Atlanta BravesTommy Hanson sharp in Opening Day loss to Mets.

Miami Marlins – Had to travel day after opening new Marlins Park a lost to the Reds.

New York MetsJohan Santana comes back and throws five shutout innings in 1-0 win against the Braves.

Philadelphia PhilliesRoy Halladay looked like Roy Halladay; 8 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 5 K

Washington NationalsStephen Strasburg excellent in his return; 7 IP, 1 ER, 5 H, 5 K

NL West

Arizona DiamonbacksChris Young and Paul Goldschmidt jump on Lincecum, hold onto win.

Colorado RockiesJeremy Guthrie good enough in win over Astros.

Los Angeles DodgersMatt Kemp begins where he left off…Bashing.

San Diego PadresCameron Maybin bright spot in loss to Dodgers.

San Francisco GiantsTim Lincecum allows two homers in first in loss to D’ Backs.

AL East

Baltimore OriolesJake Arrieta fantastic in opener; 7 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 0 BB

Boston Red SoxMark Melancon and Alfredo Aceves can’t hold down Tigers in ninth.

New York YankeesMariano Rivera blows save critics will suggest retirement is due.

Tampa Bay Rays – Rays pick up where they left off; Carlos Pena great in return.

Toronto Blue JaysJ.P. Arencibia provides the theatrics with 3-run homer to end long opener.

AL Central

Chicago White SoxAdam Dunn homers in Sox loss.

Cleveland IndiansChris Perez blows big lead and Indians fall to Blue Jays in longest opening day game in MLB history.

Detroit TigersJustin Verlander allows 1 less hit in eight innings than closer Jose Valverde did in 1 inning.

Kansas City RoyalsGreg Holland allows three inherited runners to score in eight, Royals fall 5-0.

Minnesota TwinsJosh Willingham hits first homer in Twins uniform.

AL West

Los Angeles AngelsJered Weaver begins Cy Young quest; Albert Pujols 0-for-3 in debut.

Oakland A’s – U.S. debut spoiled by Mariners 7-3; Yoenis Cespedes homers.

Seattle MarinersChone Figgins 3-for-4, SB with 2 RBI.

Texas RangersIan Kinsler with a homer and double in Rangers victory.

Follow the team links to go to the associated FanSided team site. You can ‘Like’ Redbird Rants on Facebook here. You can follow Redbird Rants on Twitter at @FSRedbirdRants and Chris Carelli on Twitter at @Chris_Carelli.

Tags: Albert Pujols Andrew McCutchen Aroldis Chapman Cardinals Carlos Lee Ian Kinsler Jaime Garcia Jered Weaver Johan Santana Johnny Cueto Justin Verlander Matt Kemp Roy Halladay St Louis Cardinals Stephen Strasburg Tim Lincecum Tommy Hanson Wandy Rodriguez Yovani Gallardo Zack Greinke

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