Dodgers pitching ace, Hiroki Kuroda, opens 2009 with a win... Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson clouts a 3-run, game-winning double... third baseman Emilio Bonifacio lines 4 hits in 5 at bats and Hanley Ramirez slammed a bases loaded homer to lead the Marlins
April 6, 2009 edited from baseballhistorian.com Baseball News Services
The Pittsburgh Pirates defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 6-4 before an Opening Day crowd of 45,832 in St. Louis. With Pittsburgh losing 4-3 with 2 outs in the top of the 9th, and 2-strikes on the batter, Jack Wilson lined a 3 run double to cap a 4 run inning off Cardinals rookie closer Jason Motte. Pirates left-fielder and leadoff hitter Nyjer Morgan aided Pittsburgh's cause by going 3 for 5, stole a base and drove in two key runs. Nyjer Morgan beat out an infield hit and lined two singles. Paul Maholm worked 7 strong innings, allowing 7 hits, 1 earned run, 1 k, 1 w. Last season, 2008, Paul Maholm led the Pirates pitching staff with 9 wins and with 206.2 innings. Reliever John Grabow allowed no runs in 2/3 of an inning and picked up the win. John Grabow began last season with 14 scoreless appearances. Closer Matt Capps worked a scoreless 9th and picked up a save. Jack Wilson was hitless in his first 4 at bats before the 9th, however he rose to the occasion with the bases loaded and delivered his game-winning double.
Adam Wainwright started for St. Louis and gave up 2 runs in 5.1 innings. Jason Motte, the Cards fifth pitcher, yielded 4 hits and 4 innings and took the loss. Cards first baseman Albert Pujols had two singles and a double plus an intentional base on balls in 5 trips to the plate. Ryan Ludwick supplied the Cardinals with power, going 2 for 5, with a 2-run homers.
The Los Angeles Dodgers defeated the San Diego Padres 4-1 before a 2009 Opening Day crowd of 45,496 in San Diego. LA's Hiroki Kuroda yielded just one run in 5.1 innings to start the Dodgers on their way to an opening day victory. Los Angeles, the defending NL West champion, scored two runs in the first inning off Padres starter and loser Jake Peavy, who yielded 4-runs, 3 of them earned runs, in 7 innings. He notched 8 strikeouts (Ks) and walked 2. Jake Peavy is one pitcher who can dominate batters with his high 90s mph fastball. He averages close to a K an IP. Middle reliever Cory Wade came into the game for LA with 2-outs in the 5th and halted a Padres rally. A rookie in 2008, Cory Wade also pitched a scoreless 7th and was credited with a hold. Hono-Chih Kuo of Tainan City, Taiwan, walked 2 and struck out one, no-runs in the 8th and closer Jonathan Broxton notched a save, with 2 Ks, no runs in the 9th.
Dodgers centerfielder Matt Kemp, batting 7th in the lineup, slammed a 418 foot home run off Jake Peavy. Matt Kemp was 1 for 3 plus a walk and teammate James Loney had 3 singles in 4 at bats, and the 6 ft 2 inch, 220 pound first baseman had 2 RBIs. In 2008 James Loney hit .289 with 90 RBIs. Padres relievers Edward Mujica and Gregerson, each pitched scoreles innings.
The Florida Marlins defeated the Washington Nationals 12-6 before a 2009 Opening Day crowd of 34,323 in Florida. Marlins shortstop Hanley Ramirez blasted a grand slam home run and leadoff hitter Emilio Bonifacio had 4 hits in 5 trips to the plate, stole three bases, and Rocked the Stadium with an inside the park homer. The Florida Marlins opened the season with a win behind starter Ricky Nolasco, who was 15-8 in 2008. Ricky Nolasco, a fastball pitcher, pitched 6 innings and yielded 4 earned runs with 6 strikeouts. Nationals starter John Lannan gave up 6 hits and 6 runs in 3 innings on the mound and recieved the loss. 27-year-old Jorge Cantu helped the Marlins cause with 3 RBIs. Jorge Cantu, first baseman, was 2 for 4, including a two-base hit and a home run, and scored a run.
Adam Dunn, who signed with Washington as a free agent in the off-season, was 2 for 4, including a homer and posted 4 RBIs. Nats catcher Wilmer Ajejandro Flores joined in the action with 2 singles in 4 trips, and 1 RBI. In 2008 Florida ended with a 84-77 in the NL East and Washington had a worst record in the majors, 59-102.