The 2013 baseball season is now under way. Each team has played at least one game and some have even played two. We have already seen dominating pitching performances, long blasts, and great defensive plays. We almost even saw a perfect game. Let's take a look at each team's notable performers.
Notable Rangers Observations: Ohhhh man. Yu Darvish was one out away from a perfect game when Marwin Gonzalez broke his little Japanese heart. Regardless, Yu dominated. He struck out 14 batters and quite frankly, made me feel like a butthead for doubting him. However, we need to remember that it was only one start and it was against the Astros. Sorry Yu, I will never insult you again. The Rangers offense came from a Kinsler homer, a pair of Berkman singles, a Cruz double, and an Andrus triple. Side note, why did the Rangers give Andrus so much money?
Notable Astros Observations: Bow down to Yu.
Notable Red Sox Observations: Jose Iglesias recorded 3 infield hits and Jackie Bradley Jr. walked 3 times. Jon Lester looked like he may return to his old form in 2013, as he pitched 5 innings and gave up two runs, while striking out 7. The Red Sox bullpen looks much improved as well.
Notable Yankees Observations: CC Sabathia's fastball velocity was around 90-92 mph, only 5 mph faster than his frequently thrown slider. Francisco Cervelli was the offense's only bright spot. That is a sentence that should never be written.
Notable Marlins Observations: Ricky Nolasco only gave up 2 runs and 3 hits over 6 innings. The offense only managed 3 hits, though, and holy cow Placido Polanco batted cleanup.
Notable Nationals Observations: Bryce Harper hit 2 bombs, but you already knew that. Stephen Strasburg was taken out after he retired 19 straight batters at one point. He threw only 80 pitches. The rest of the Nats bats were sleeping, as only 3 hits were registered aside from Harper's homers.
Notable Royals Observations: James Shields looked really good. Jeff Francoeur saw 8 pitches over 4 at-bats and Eric Hosmer stole a base.
Notable White Sox Observations: Chris Sale looked better than good. He struck out 7 and only walked one in 7 and 2/3rds innings pitched. Tyler Flowers, a low-end fantasy catching option, provided the only offense with a solo homer in the 5th.
Notable Padres Observations: Edinson Volquez was awful against the Mets, just as he has been his whole career. He gave up 6 runs and walked 3 in only 3 innings pitched. On the bright side, Yonder Alonso went deep.
Notable Mets Observations: The Mets scored 11 runs? Collin Cowgill had 4 RBIs and a grand slam? Marlon Byrd had 2 hits? So did Jonathon Niese? Everybody hit for the Amazin' Mets yesterday besides David Wight (1-4, but with 2 stolen bases) and Ike Davis (0-5). This is the most intriguing box score in my opinion because it includes a bunch of "no-names" raking. Jonathon Niese was solid on the mound too. The lefty gave up 2 runs over 6 and a third.
Notable Tigers Observations: Justin Verlander only went 5 innings and blamed the cold weather. Four players in their lineup, Fielder, Hunter, Peralta, and Infante, each recorded 2 hits. Phil Coke was chosen to close out the ballgame. He relieved Benoit with one out in the 9th.
Notable Twins Observations: Vance Worley gave up all 3 of his runs in the first two innings, but then he settled down quite nicely. Joe Mauer batted second, Aaron Hicks struck out 3 times, and the Twins were kicking the ball all over the field.
Notable Cubs Observations: Jeff Smardzija looked great, striking out 9 and only giving up 2 hits in 8 innings. Anthony Rizzo nearly popped a homer into the river. Carlos Marmol, who for some reason is still the dubbed the closer by manager Dale Sveum, was yanked in the 9th. He only threw 9 of his 19 pitches for strikes and Fujikawa got the one out save.
Notable Pirate Observations: A.J. Burnett struck out 10 batters in just under 6 innings pitched, but the offense was extremely quiet.
Notable Rockies Observations: Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez have begun the season by both homering in two straight games. This is definitely a good sign for Colorado. On Monday, Dexter Fowler went deep in the 9th to tie the game, but they lost in extras. Jhoulys Chacin had a solid outing on Monday, but Tuesday's starter, Jorge De La Rosa failed to make it passed the 5th.
Notable Brewers Observations: John Axford blew a save in the season opener. Not good. Aoki went yard on Monday and on Tuesday, Ryan Braun homered. Starters Yovanni Gallardo and Marco Estrada both showed why pitching is not the Brew Crew's strong suit. They gave up a combined 19 hits over two games and 10 innings. Jean Segura had two hits in both games.
Notable Giants Observations: Giants starting pitchers haven't skipped a beat. Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner have combined for 14 scoreless innings with 14 strikeouts. On Tuesday, Bumgarner only surrendered 2 hits over 8 innings. They were shut out on Monday, but manufactured 3 runs on Tuesday, 2 of which came on an error. Pablo Sandoval somehow manages to get fatter and fatter every offseason.
Notable Dodgers Observations: Clayton Kershaw is my hero. He pitched a complete game shutout and also went deep in the same game. Carl Crawford had 2 hits on Monday, but didn't start on Tuesday. Hyun-Jin Ryu is anything but quick coming off the mound. Overall, he didn't have a bad outing, but he gave up 10 hits.
Notable Angels Observations: Offensively, the Halos were saved by Chris Ianetta, who hit a solo home run and a game winning two-run single in the 13th. They struck out 17 times in total. Pujols and Hamilton went hitless. Jered Weaver looked like an ace. He gave up 2 hits and one run over 6 innings.
Notable Reds Observations: Johnny Cueto also looked like an ace. He gave up one run and 3 hits over 7 innings, and struck out 9. Ryan Ludwig tore his labrum sliding into 3rd and needs surgery. Shin-Soo Choo had 2 of the team's 3 hits, but looked like a scared little girl in centerfield (https://i.minus.com/ijROhQ0P1SRQn.gif).
Notable Phillies Observations: Cole Hamels looked very bad, as he surrendered 5 runs, 7 hits, and 3 homers in 5 innings. Chase Utley went deep for his 200th career homer and was just a double shy of the cycle. In other news, Ben Revere is still really, really fast.
Notable Braves Observations: Tim Hudson could not last long enough to see a victory. Old people, you know. Freddie Freeman had 3 hits, including a homer. Uggla and Justin Upton went yard too. If both Uptons would have gone deep on Opening Day, I am told Tim Kurkjian would have exploded.
Notable Cardinals Observations: On Monday, Adam Wainwright was hit pretty hard. He gave up 11 hits and 3 runs over 6 innings, as he struck out only 6 and also took a comebacker to the shoulder. Matt Holliday seems to be on his usual RBI tear. He recorded one on a double on Monday and hit a 2-run homer on Tuesday. Pete Kozma and John Jay, both unlikely power sources, also hit dingers on Tuesday. Jaime Garcia had control problems, walking 4 in 5 and two thirds, but he only gave up 2 hits.
Notable Diamondbacks Observations: Ian Kennedy looked great on Monday. He struck out 8 in 7 innings and only gave up 2 runs. Gerrado Parra had 4 hits on Monday, including 3 doubles. Fill-in center fielder,A.J. Pollock had 3 hits, as well. On Tuesday, Miguel Montero hit a homer.
Notable Mariners Observations: King Felix was absolutely filthy on Monday. He pitched 7 and two thirds, gave up 3 hits, and struck out 8. On Tuesday, Hisashi Iwakuma followed suit and struck out 7 over 6 innings, while giving up only 2 hits and one run. Michael Morse hit two very long home runs on Tuesday and he pimped them both.
Notable Athletics Observations: Brett Anderson pitched well on Monday, but was simply outmatched. He pitched 7 innings, gave up 2 runs, and struck out 6, but he walked 4 batters. The A's only offense in two games came from a Yoenis Cespedes solo home run.
Notable Orioles Observations: The O's tagged David Price's fastball. Wieters took him deep and Chris Davis later homered off of Jake McGee to extend their lead. Adam Jones was scorching the ball, as he recorded 3 hits, 2 of which were doubles. Also, Brian Roberts had 2 hits.
Notable Rays Observations: David Price gave up 7 hits in 6 innings and was lucky to escape having gave up only 2 runs. Evan Longoria and Sam Fuld were flashing the leather all game, which definitely helped the reigning Cy Young Award winner. Ben Zobrist homered and Desmond Jennings had 2 hits and a steal. Jake McGee gave up a 5 spot in the 7th. Last year, he only surrendered 6 runs at home for the entire season.
Notable Indians Observations: Justin Masterson was weaving his way in and out of trouble all night, mainly because he walked 4 guys and hit one. Asdrubal Cabrera hit a 2 run blast off of Dickey in the 5th. Chisenhall and Stubbs, who bat 8-9 in the order, drove in the Tribe's other 2 runs. I am starting to like Michael Brantley a lot. He went 1-2, drew 2 walks, and played a great left field. Also, the bullpen combo of Joe Smith-Vinnie Pestano-Chris Perez turned the game into a 6 inning contest.
Notable Blue Jays Observations: R.A. Dickey did not look sharp. He left a good amount of knucklers up in the zone. It probably didn't' help that J.P. Arencibia couldn't catch a cold behind the dish. The stacked Jays lineup only managed to record 4 hits. Mass hysteria in Toronto.