Happy April Fools Day. A day to trick and be tricked. After a slate of 13 games on opening day, there is already plenty of fools gold to be tricked by. So let’s pan for some gold from the first day of the MLB season.
5. Offensive Explosion in Miami
Last season, the Marlins set a new bar for offensive futility. The fish plated just 513 runs all year, tied for the lowest in MLB since 1993. But in 2013, the Marlins got off to a much better start with game one. In the third inning the Fish got their scoring started, but exploded in the fifth. The Marlins scored five runs in that inning, a single-inning run total they amassed just five times in all of 2013. Additionally, those five runs would have matched or surpassed the run total of 133 of the Marlins games last year. Baseball Prospectus projects the Marlins to score 559 runs this year, so don’t expect this very often.
4. Matt Adams going the other way
Matt Adams is a bright young player for the St. Louis Cardinals, but he rarely goes the other way. In 2013, Adams had 84 hits in just under 300 plate appearances. Of those 84 hits, only 17 of them went to left field. So, imagine the surprise in the Reds dugout when Adams burned them twice the other way for his first multi-hit game of the season.
3. Adam Wainwright loses control
In 2013, Adam Wainwright had one of the greatest control years in Cardinals history. Waino walked just 35 batters all year, and had more wins than walks for the first two and a half months of the season. He slowly came back down to earth, but still had a phenomenal year. This year is off to a much different start. The Cardinals ace walked four on Monday, a higher single game total than any of his starts in 2013. Despite losing his control a bit, Wainwright still managed to pick up his 100 career win and pile up nine strikeouts.
2. Torii Hunter dropped a pop-up
Torii Hunter has nine Gold Gloves. He is one of the finest defensive center-fielders in the history of the game, but he didn’t show it on Monday by dropping a routine pop-up. Hunter committed just 3 errors last season, and 14 errors since 2008. That means he could go the rest of the season without another error, and nobody would be surprised.
1. Cliff Lee allowed eight earned runs and (wait for it) still got the win.
Eight, ocho, otto. That matched Lee’s most ER allowed, but he also managed to earn a win. The last time Lee allowed eight runs he was pitching for the Rangers. The Phillies plated 14 runs in support of Lee, including a first inning Grand Slam and two other home runs. He could have really used some of that run support in 2010 when he had three complete games in which he failed to earn a win. Don’t expect Lee to give up eight runs again this year, but the Phillies probably won’t score him 14 either.