2011 Opening Day – Let’s Play Ball
Most baseball analysts are picking the Cincinnati to repeat as winners of the NL Central (91-71 in 2010) and Reds fans are looking for manager Dusty Baker and his Reds to go on and win the NL pennant. Over in the American League, Boston is the most highly regarded baseball team (finishing 2010 with the most wins in the league (94-68).
However, it’s hard to argue with success. Last year the Texas Rangers rose to the occasion and won the AL pennant and with manager Bruce Boche at the helm, and the San Francisco Giants won the 2010 World Series.
Fire It Up! March 31 2011 by staff at baseballhistorian
Opening Day Results 2011
Cincinnati 7 Milwaukee 6 – the Milwaukee Brewers opened the year with back-to-back homer runs off the bats of second baseman Rickie Weeks and centerfielder Carlos Gomez off Reds right hander Edinson Volquez and scored again to lead 3-0 before the Reds came to bat. In the bottom of the 9th Cincinnati’s star catcher Ramon Hernandez lined a 3 run walkoff homer propelling the Reds to a 7-6 opening day win. Leftfielder Jonny Gomes hit a sacrifice fly prior to the homer by Ramon. Hernandez collected 4 hits in 5 at bats, scored a run and had 3 RBI. 6 ft 8 inch Logan Ondrusek (1-0) pitched the 9th and collected the win while John Axford pitched the 9th for Milwaukee, yielded 4 runs, and picked up a loss (0-1).
San Diego 5 St Louis 3 – the San Diego Padres scored 2 runs in the top of the 11th inning to defeat the home team St. Louis Cardinals before 46,368 disappointed hometown fans. In the 11th Padres 3rd baseman Chase Headley scored the go-head run on Cardinals shortstop Ryan Theriot error on a rely play and threw high to the home plate. Padres starter Tim Stauffer pitched 6 strong innings, 9 hits, 2 runs and struckout 2, walked 1. Cardinals starter Chris Carpentier yielded just 2 hits, 2 runs in 7 innings, striking out 4, 2 walks. Reliever Pat Neshek (1-0) collected the win with a scoreless 10th, right hander Heath Bell picked up the save. RH reliever Bryan Augenstein (0-1) was charged with the loss – 3 hits 2 runs 1 earned run in 1 inning. Cardinals All-Star first baseman Albert Pujols had a dismal day at the plate. Albert Pujois went 0-5 and hit into 3 double plays for the first time in his career. Note: Cardinals outfielder Matt Holiday went 3-for-4 including a homer. The next day the team announced Matt Holiday was scheduled to have an appendectomy and would missed games.
Atlanta 2 Washington 0 – the Atlanta Braves behind the scoreless pitching of starter Derek Lowe defeated the Nationals in Washington before an opening day crowd of 39,055. Derek Lowe won his 3rd straight opening day game for the visiting Braves. Derek Lowe yielded 3 hits had 6 Ks in 5 2/3 innings. Rookie reliever Craig Kimbrel pitched the 9th and collected his first save. He notched 2 Ks, no hits or walks. Nats Livan Hernandez (1-0) surrendered just 4 hits 2 runs thru 6.1 innings of work. All Star 3B Chipper Jones was 2 for 4. He doubled in the 1st inning and scored on a line hit by catcher Brian McCann.
Los Angeles Dodgers 2 SF Giants 1 – Dodgers flame throwing starter Clayton Kershaw struck out 9 (9 Ks) in 7 in 7 scoreless innings to pace LA and new manager Don Mattingly to an opening day victory before an estimated 56,000 fans in LA. San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum pitched fine, allowing an unearned run, 5 hits, 5 Ks in 7 innings. The Giants, last season’s World Series Champs, committed 3 errors. Reliever Hong-Chih Kuo pitched a scoreless 8th for the Dodgers. Giants left fielder Pat Burrell greeted LA closer Jonathan Broxton with a homer in the 9th. Nonetheless, Jonathan Broxton notched his first save of 2011.
American League 2011 Opening Day
Los Angeles Angels 4 Kansas City 2 – the visiting Angels lined 12 hits en-route to a 4-2 win in Kansas City before 40,055. Halo’s starter Jered Weaver (1-0) had 6 Ks, 2 walks and pitched a 2-hitter, scoreless baseball thru 6.1 innings. Jeff Francoeur, Royals right fielder, lined a 2 run 7th inning, homer off reliever Hisanori Takahashi for KC only score. LA closer Fernando Rodney recorded the final 3 outs for the save. Me Cabrera, Royals, was 3 for 4. Angels OF Torii Hunter and catcher Jeff Mathis hit base empty home runs. Royals 2011 opening day starter Luke Hochevar yielded 3 earned runs , 5 Ks in 5 2/3 innings.
New York Yankees 6 Detroit 3 – Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira belted a 3rd inning 3 run homer to give the Bombers from New York a 3-1 lead Tigers starter Justin Verlander surrendered the home run to Mark Teiceira and gave up just 3 hits 3 runs, 8 Ks, 4 w thru 6 innings. Setup reliever Phil Coke was touched for a long homer by All Star NY centerfielder Curtis Granderson. Phil Coke (0-1) was the losing pitcher. Yankees starter, C.C. Sabathia, fanned 7 and yielded 3 earned run in 6 innings. Joba Chamberlain (1-0) pitched the 7th allowing 0 hits 0 runs and picked up the win. All Star closer Mariano Rivera g ot the save with a hitless 9th. Yankees Curtis Granderson was a flyhawk in centerfield. A noted all-around player, Curtis Granderson made 2 diving catches and ran down a deep fly in the 9th saving the win for the New Yorker.