This week Beyond Busch will focus on the Opening Days of the NL Central teams and provide some notes from the rest of MLB.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Miami Marlins – Had to travel day after opening new Marlins Park a lost to the Reds.
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Topics: 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