Legends On Deck

Opening Day Saw The Favorites Fall

The anticipation for the start of the new major league baseball season has been extremely high especially with all that the Chicago Cubs did in 2016, with finally winning their first World Series in 108 years.  So entering the 2017, teams have been gearing up to dethrone the champs and make their season story book worthy.

Entering Sunday’s openers the New York Yanks, San Francisco Giants and Cubs, all had been picked as favorites to at least make the postseason, but the new baseball season did not start out as planned.

Rays 7, Yankees 3

The Yankees and their baby bombers started their quest for a title with game one in Tampa against the Rays and even though New York dominated in Spring Training winning 24 of their 33 games, they came out flat in Florida scoring just two runs against Chris Archer in his seven innings of work. He allowed just one walk, gave up seven hits and struck out five to earn his first win of the season.

As for the Yankees starter, Masahiro Tanaka, who came off a strong spring finishing 3-1, with a 0.38 ERA, but it didn’t carry over to the season as he got shelled for seven runs, on eight hits in just 2.2 innings of work.

The Yankees offense produced just nine hits, but highlighted by 3-hit apiece for Starlin Castro and Chase Headley. Rookie Aaron Judge did open the season on a great note as he doubled for his first hit of 2017.  But that was all they could muster.

As for the Rays, they had seven runs on 13 hits, highlighted by home runs from Evan Longoria and  Logan Morrison, who also enjoyed a three-hit game.

Both teams will be at it again on Tuesday, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 pm.

D-Backs 6, Giants 5

The story of the game early was Madison Bumgarner, as he became the first starting pitcher on opening day to hit two home runs, as both drives were launched over the left center field fence. As for the rest of the offense, the Giants did manage five hits on 11 runs, but a late rally by the Arizona Diamondbacks, allowed them to walk-off the Giants 6-5, in the bottom of the ninth.

Bumgarner lasted seven innings, allowing six hits, three runs, no walks and struck out 11. His counterpart, Zack Greinke, tossed five innings, allowing two runs on four hits, with two walks and four strikeouts.

A.J. Pollock tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the 6th on a two-run shot. But Bumgarner’s second home run in the seventh pout the Giants back up by one. Then Paul Goldschmidt tied the game with a single in the eighth, and San Fran answered right back with a run in the top of the ninth to take a 5-4 lead.

In the bottom of the ninth, Daniel Descalso tied the game at 5-5 on a single and Chris Owings helped complete the comeback with a line drive hit to right field scoring Pollock with the winning run.

Game two will be on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 9:40 pm.

Cardinals 4, Cubs 3

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Cubs rivalry is one for the ages, dating back to the early 1900’s. They have faced each other a combined 2,382 times with the Cubs owning a 1207-1156 record against the Red Birds. In 2016, the Cubs were 10-9 against the Cardinals, while winning the division and eventually the World Series.  But the Cardinals have other plans for the 2017 season and it started out on a good note, with a well-earned 4-3 victory on Sunday night.

The game was actually a pitchers duel for most of the game, even though St. Louis took an early 1-0 advantage in the bottom of the third inning when Matt Carpenter hit a sac fl to score former Cub Dexter Fowler with the first run of the game.

Cardinals starter Carlos Martinez worked in and out of a few jams on his way to 7.1 strong innings, allowing no runs, on six hits, no walks and 10 strikeouts.

Jon Lester also battled for five innings, as he allowed just one run on seven hots, walking two and striking out seven.

The Cardinals scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning to take a 3-0 lead, but in the top of the ninth, shoddy defense, which resulted into a botched double play attempt, allowed two runners on, and Cubs catcher Willson Contreras launched a 1-2 slider over the left field wall and tie the game at 3-3. But the Cardinals had other plans for the 2017 season, and in the bottom of the ninth, rookie Jose Martinez hit a sharp one-out double, and scored ahead of a Randal Grichuk line drive base hit to left field, sending the Cardinals faithful into a frenzy to start out the 2017 with an impressive 4-3 victory.

Both teams will get back out in the field for game two on Tuesday with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 pm.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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