The baseball season has officially begun and opening day had its fair share of drama. Some believe a team's performance on opening day is a sign of how the season will unfold. Perhaps fantasy owners can get the same kind of glimpse into the future from how their players perform on day one. If that is truly the case we can look forward to an MVP season from Ramon Hernandez and a season of 0-5 performances from Albert Pujols.
Curtis Granderson appears to be fine after being questionable for opening day. He hit a home run and made a couple nice plays in the field. He could be in for a big year after finishing 2010 strong. Mark Teixeira is doing his best to drop the slow starter label by hitting a home run and driving in three. Justin Verlander was a bit wild at times but when he was in the zone he looked dominant. C.C. Sabathia had a fine start as well and will be hoping for a Cy Young sort of season so he could possibly opt out of his contract at the end of the year and cash in big time.
more after the jump...
The Reds and Brewers played an exciting game in what could be a season long battle for NL Central supremacy. Ramon Hernandez had an awesome day going 4 for 5 including a 3 run walk-off home run. John Axford struggled mightily in the ninth despite dialing it up to 95 mph with pretty good looking breaking stuff. Carlos Gomez carried his hot spring into the regular season with a monster home run and a stolen base. The Brewers were aggressive on the basepaths although two of the times they took the extra base it resulted in taking the bat of Prince Fielder's hands. Joey Votto got off to a nice start in defense of his MVP title with a home run and a couple walks.
The Nationals and Braves engaged in a 2-0 pitchers duel that saw Jonny Venters setting up Craig Kimbrel for the save. Kimbrel's stuff was nasty and he made a strong case for himself in the closer role. The Nationals couldn't get anything going on offense but their defense looked good. Tyler Clippard pitched in the seventh while Sean Burnett pitched in the ninth. Burnett should get the save opportunities for the time being and he could hang onto the job longer than most think. Mike Morse played in left despite there being a righty on the mound so he may not be platooned which was suspected heading into the season. He was 0-4 with 2 strikeouts and 4 left on base so maybe Jim Riggleman will reconsider. Chipper Jones had 2 hits. The Braves will be hoping for a healthy season from him if they want to make a run at the NL East title.
Chris Carpenter pitched 7 effective innings and the Cardinals will need him to step up with Adam Wainwright out for the year. St. Louis' offense was powered by its starting outfielders who went 7-11 and scored all 3 of their runs. Colby Rasmus hit well but once again struck out at an inopportune time which must not have impressed Tony LaRussa. Rasmus could be in for a big year if he can put all of his tools together and cut down on those pesky Ks. Matt Holliday hit a go ahead home run in the eighth to cap a 3 for 4 day. Lance Berkman had a pair of hits in his Cardinals debut. The Padres went with Luke Gregerson in the seventh before handing the ball to Mike Adams in the eigth possibly hinting at the order of things should Heath Bell leave via trade. Albert Pujols grounded into three double plays as the Cardinals failed to capitalize with runners on all day. Cameron Maybin got off to a nice start to the season hitting a home run and a single before leaving the game with a leg injury.
Jeff Mathis is on pace to hit 162 home runs this year. Something tells me he will fall short. He also allowed a passed ball so I'm starting to suspect I may have woke up in the twilight zone today. Jered Weaver was fantastic today and could challenge for a Cy Young this year. Jeff Francoeur hit a home run and may be able to climb back into fantasy relevance this year now that most of the hype is gone.
I toyed with putting Kershaw as my dark horse Cy Young pick and after watching his first start I'm regretting not going with my gut. His stuff was electric over seven shutout innings where he struck out nine and walked one. Tim Lincecum was no slouch either as he went seven innings allowing only a single unearned run on a Buster Posey pick-off error. Jonathan Broxton gave up a solo shot to Pat Burrell in the ninth while Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless eighth. Matt Kemp was trouble on the basepaths logging a stolen base and inducing the Posey throwing error. Brandon Belt had a hit and a walk in his major league debut and looked really good. If he's not on your radar by now he should be. Pablo Sandoval looked slimmer and could show big improvements to his 2010 numbers.