Baseball on Opening Day, besides the postseasons across sports, is arguably the most exciting day in sports. Unless you hate baseball, in which case, you have no soul. Everyone knows that you can’t glean much from spring training, but Opening Day is a different story. Here a few things that we learned on Opening Day 2013:
Stephen Strasburg is figuring out how to pitch
It didn’t surprise many people that Strasburg dominated the Marlins on Monday afternoon by throwing 7 shutout innings. What was surprising though, was how he did it. Only throwing 80 pitches while forcing 10 groundball outs and striking out 3. If Strasburg can continue to be that effective with his pitch count every 5 days and not fall in love with the strikeout, man oh man.
TheYankees are in really big trouble
I know that one loss means very little in the long run, but this Yankee team did not show many reasons for optimism during their first game. Sabathia’s velocity was down, Phelps/Chamberlain got roughed up, the lineup is possibly the weakest in the division (right now), and we still don’t know what they are going to get out of their stars when the return. You can’t win a division in April, but you can lose it.
Clayton Kershaw is going to make however much money he wants
Complete game shut out against their division rival. Doesn’t get much better than that…unless of course you break a 0-0 tie with an 8th inning bomb. Was it just me, or did someone hear the ball whispering, “give him whatever he wants” to Magic Johnson as it left the yard?
The Braves offense might be even better than we thought
No Brian McCann and (arguably) the best outfield in the game went a combined 1-11 (Justin Upton had a solo HR), while the Braves offense put up 7 runs against Cole Hamels and the Phillies. Their 6-8 hitters were 5-10 with 3 runs and 2 RBI. Extremely deep.
The Angels bullpen might be better than we expected
7 innings of 1 hit baseball, on the road, against one of the best lineups in the league? Not to mention 9 strikeouts and only 2 walks. Granted, pitching is usually ahead of pitching at this point, but still, if this bullpen is really as good as they showed yesterday, this team is going to run away with the AL West.
Follow Cole Stevenson on twitter: @Cole_Stevenson