13) Astros’ ace Justin Verlander has an injury to his pitching arm, will be out at least a couple weeks. Some reports had him done for the year, but the Astros refuted that idea, said he’ll be re-examined in two weeks.
12) Four Miami Marlins tested positive for COVID-19 this weekend; they still took two of three games in Philly. Not sure what plans baseball has if a whole team tests positive. Lets hope we don’t find out.
11) When Matt Olson hit a walk-off grand slam in Oakland late Friday night, it was the first walk-off grand slam on Opening Day since 1986, when Jim Presley did it for Seattle.
10) Statistical oddity in the A’s-Angels game Sunday; neither starting pitcher induced a swing and miss, which is really unusual.
Shohei Ohtani only lasted six batters, didn’t get any of them out. Oakland hitters swung at 10 of his pitches, fouled seven of them off, got hits on the other three. Angel hitters swung at 27 of Mike Fiers pitches, fouling eight of them off, putting the other 19 in play (7 hits).
9) Ohtani is one of the Angels’ better hitters, but he doesn’t bat when he pitches because once he leaves the game, the Angels would have to pinch hit for all the other pitchers. A DH cannot take the field defensively; if he does, his team loses the DH.
8) I was ranting a little the other day about Milwaukee batting Eric Sogard leadoff this weekend in Chicago; Brewers’ bench coach Pat Murphy used to be the head coach at Arizona State, where one of his best players was…….Eric Sogard.
A .318 career on-base %age in 10 years doesn’t qualify you to bat leadoff.
7) San Diego Padres’ new manager Jayce Tingler has his team taking more pitches; they had 15 full counts in a game against Arizona this weekend. Arizona starter Zac Gallen threw 88 pitches in only four innings Sunday; when the rosters go from 30 to 28 to 26, pitching staffs will be a lot thinner and that kind of patience could pay off.
Same thing in Minnesota; Twins saw 164 pitches/game this week in Chicago. They saw an average of 149 pitches/game last season.
6) Umpire Will Little had the plate in Sunday’s New York-Washington game; Bronx won 3-2, which is no surprise, since they’ve now won 10 games in a row when Little is behind the plate.
5) Texas Rangers wore throwback powder blue uniforms Sunday, with both jersey and pants powder blue- they’re very bright. Apparently they’re going to wear them every Sunday at home.
4) They let fans back into Korean baseball games Sunday; 10% of capacity was allowed to come into the stadium.
3) Spare ballplayers are sitting in the bleachers behind the dugout so they can socially distance. Sunday in St Louis, Pirates’ P Derek Holland got ejected for carping at the umpires from about 15 rows off the field.
2) Daniel Snyder is going to take his time deciding which nickname to re-brand his football team with, because there’s a hell of a lot of money involved in picking the right mascot.
Red Tails would seem to be an easy choice, but who knows how Snyder thinks.
1) First three days of baseball had a little bit of a spring training feel to them; most of the pitchers aren’t in regular season condition yet, the expanded rosters allow managers to make a lot more substitutions, but it is fun to watch games that count.