Opening Day Roundup

The best thing Major League Baseball has done in a long time is making all Opening Day games on the same day.  Yesterday was one of the most exciting days of baseball of my entire life.  Extra innings, crazy comebacks, pitching duels, and record breaking Home Runs Opening Day had it all.

13 hours of baseball leads to a variety of different story lines and exciting plays/stats.  Thankfully I don’t have class on Thursday so I was able to sit on my couch the entire day and watch it all play out.  But I know most people don’t have the luxury of a 10 credit schedule and had to miss part of the games.

The Mets are the best Opening Day team of all time

The New York Mets are now 38-20 (.655%) in franchise history on Opening Day.  If you exclude the first 8 years of the Mets franchise then they would be 38-12! The closest team to the Mets in the Opening Day standings are the Orioles (71-47-1) but the Mets Winning Percentage is still over 50 points higher.

Gary Cohen, Keith Hernandez, and Ron Darling had the perfect explanation for the Mets holding the best Opening Day record.  Tom Seaver started for the Mets 11 times on Opening Day, the Mets only lost 3 of those games.  Doc Gooden started for the Mets 8 times on Opening Day and the team only lost 1 game.  Having two of the greatest pitchers in history start a combined 19 Opening Days and only lose 3 is a recipe for success, even for the Mets.

Orioles are the 1st team ever with 3 straight Opening Day Walk-offs

2016 vs Twins, tied 2-2, Bottom 9:Matt Wieters singles to Center Field, Davis scores. Orioles win 3-2.

2017 vs Blue Jays, tied 2-2, Bottom 11:Mark Trumbo HR to Left Field.  Orioles win 3-2.

2018 vs Twins, tied 2-2, Bottom 11:Adam Jones HR to Left Field.  Orioles win 3-2.

ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? 3 STRAIGHT WALK-OFF WINS ALL 3-2.  The record of 3 straight Opening Day walk-offs is already unbelievable.  But after looking up the box scores for each game I was completely mind-blown.  I don’t know how the Orioles keep pulling off 3-2 wins on Opening Day.

Yesterday they should’ve won 2-0 but Brad Brach blew lead in the top of the 9th.  It’s like they knew they needed to let the Twins tie it just to walk-off and secure another 3-2 Opening Day win.

Stanton has already broken a record as a Yankee

In his first at-bat as a New York Yankee Giancarlo Stanton hit an absolute rope to Right Center Field.  The ball traveled 426 feet and had an exit velocity of 117.4 mph.  Stanton’s exit velocity is the fastest in Statcast history for a Home Run hit to the opposite field.  Considering the fastest Home Run in 2017 (by Stanton) was only 122mph, I think it is safe to say he got a hold of this pitch from J.A Happ

Giancarlo went deep twice in his first game as a Yankee.  The second Home Run wasn’t hit as hard but everyone knew it was gone as soon as it was hit.  Yankees fans will have many more of these Home Runs to look forward to this season.

Astros use a 4 man outfield shift

AJ Hinch, the manager of the Houston Astros, decided to deploy a 4 man outfield shift during the game against the Rangers.  He experimented with it plenty of times in spring training but nobody expected him to use it during a regular season game.  Hinch stated that all the numbers prove that the 3rd basemen is not necessary against certain flyball hitting lefties.  When the shift is used 3B Alex Bregman moves to Left Field and everybody else on the field shifts to the right.

The Astros used the shift against Joey Gallo of the Texas Rangers, who is the perfect hitter to use this shift against.  In 2017, 54% of the balls put in play by Joey Gallo were fly balls.  He finished the season with 9 more Home Runs(41) than singles(32).

It will be interesting to see who else they decide to use this shift against throughout the season.  Hinch said that it will only be used during away games because of the small Left Field in Houston’s Minute Maid park.  He also said that it will only be used when the bases are empty, because if someone steals or there is a ball hit on the ground there would be to much scrambling.

If hitters don’t start bunting against this shift I can see more teams starting to use this against flyball hitting lefties more often.

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