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Live Blog! Opening Day, April 5th, 2010

10:12 – Drew Stubbs not starting in CF due to the “tough lefty” Chris Carpenter – Chris Dickerson struck out.

10:17 – Matt Holliday lined out to Reds SS Orlando Cabrera to end the first inning, following Pujols solo HR.

10:25 – Brandon Phillips up now, with 2 out and Joey Votto on first. Down 0-2, Phillips couldn’t believe the low pitch was called a strike. Now 2-2 with a pickoff throw to first (unsuccessful).  Now 3-2, atta boy!  Fouled away, still 3-2. Damn – weak-ass grounder to second base – end of inning.

10:30 – Arrgh. The Mets score 2 runs against Josh Johnson – David Wright homer with Luis Castillo aboard. One strikeout.

10:31 – Interesting. Brent Musberger threw to the studio for the David Wright Mets update, but ESPN360 stayed on the game video for 30 seconds, until Brent welcomed us back.  Walked over to the family room and saw the homer on ESPN television.

11:00 – Garrett Jones homered in the Pirates game – Barry has 2 homers today.

11:05 – Matt Holliday is leading off at the top of the fourth. Lightening shot back to Harang. Another out. 0-for-2. Sutcliffe and Musberger are commenting how Holliday has had bad luck. Great.  And then Colby Rasmus takes a 7-iron deep to right for a homer – “That’s stupid strong” – Rick Sutcliffe. Of course Brent says that no one worked with new hitting coach Mark McGwire more than Colby Rasmus in Jupiter, which contradicts his same statement about David Freese from two innings ago.

11:19 – Following a solo home run from Joey Votto, Brandon Phillips works the count to 2-2, and then strikes out against Carpenter.  And then Scott Rolen homers.  Great.  My two cleanup hitters aren’t doing anything, but both #3 and #5 hitters have homered.

11:23 – Apparently the OnRoto Live Scoring isn’t working yet.  All zeros still.

11:33 – Holliday up, and Harang goes 2-0 and then grazes Holliday.  HBP.  Woo! Cincinnati bullpen is stirring.

11:45 – Live Standings are operational – and I’m now in last place. I was in ninth, but Alex got a base hit. Great.  Barry, on the strength of two Garrett Jones homers is tied for first with Drew, who has Roy Halladay going today.

11:47 – Mike Lincoln now on the mound for the Reds – Harang done for the day.

11:54 – Back in 9th Place, with Barry falling to 2nd.  Looks like I got two hits, now batting .181.  Josh Johnson is through 5 innings, with 4 hits, 2 earned, 3 K’s, but 3 walks.  At 89 pitches (54 strikes), with a 3.60 ERA.

11:57 – Brandon Phillips up against Carpenter here in the bottom of the 6th.  Quickly up to 0-2 count, first swinging, second looking.  Phillips hit a 1-2 two-seam fastball, chopping it to second base.  0-for-3.

11:58 – Rolen hits one over the wall, but Colby Rasmus brings it back. Rolen looks pretty good this season (one game sample size).

12:00 – Checking other box scores: Casey Blake 1-for-2, Ronny Paulino 0-for-2, Mike Jacobs 0-for-3 (in my minors), Tulowitzki 0-for-1 with an Error, Prince Fielder 1-for-1.

12:03 – Pujols another homer to left-center – wow.

12:04 – Matt Holiday, knocks one past a slow-motion Orlando Cabrera for a single. My batting average is up to .238, but I’m back in last place again?  I keep losing pitching points, especially strikeouts. Zero runs, homers, rbi, or steals.

12:13 – Video clip of Aroldis Chapman, very impressive.  If not for the back spasms, would have been named to the starting rotation, as per Brent Musberger’s possible coversation with Dusty Baker.

12:19 – Looks like Drew Stubbs will pinch-hit. Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa pulled his lefty and brings in righthanded reliever Jason Motte, with one out. Motte throws a 50-footer at 96mph.  1-0.  Inside, 2-0.  Finally a strike low.  Fourth pitch, ropes a fastball over the shortstop’s head.  Base hit!

12:26 – After a lengthy at-bat, and two pick-off throws to first. Stubbs advances to second base after a walk to Ramon Hernandez.

12:27 – The ever-selective Juan Francisco takes the first pitch through the gap into right field – Stubbs scores a run ahead of the tag.  Roadrunners with a Run!  Stubbs sure did more than Dickerson here.

12:31 – Key at-bat, Chris Dickerson strikes out swinging, looking lost.  O-for-4 today, 2 K’s, reached on an error. Stubbs: 1-for-1, run scored.

12:36 – Stubbs remains in the game at CF, Dickerson moved to LF.  (Stubbs had pinch-hit for Laynce Nix).  And the ESPN360 feed just abruptly cut out. Hmm.

12:37 – Wow, still in last place, now with only 31.5 points. Top five are all within 4 points (65 – 64.5 – 64 – 63.5 – 61)

12:38 – Now I see the problem – Josh Johnson gave up one more walk and two more earned runs: A Jeff Francoeur sac fly scoring Jason Bay, and then a Rod Barajas double scoring Gary Matthews Jr. ERA: 7.20

12:42 – Troy Tulowitzki singles to center, scoring Carlos Gonzalez.  Roadrunners get an RBI!  And Casey Blake is 2-for-3.

12:43 – Brandon Phillips up again – facing Kyle McClellan.  1-2 count, nice cut fastball action.  2-2 now.  Outside, now 3-2.  Brandon has been fairly patient with his at-bats.  Ball four, outside.  Phillips on base at first with a walk.

12:44 – Scott Rolen walks, Phillips to second.

12:46 – Brandon Phillips steals third base!  First steal for the Roadrunners!  Kyle McClellan wasn’t paying attention, and Phillips beat the lightening throw by Yadier Molina. Another full count, this time to Jay Bruce. Whiff!

12:50 – Drew Stubbs up now. Outside, ball one.  Low, ball two. Runners on the corners, two out.  Right down the pipe, 2-1.  Low, 3-and-1.  They’re raving about Sutbbs’ at-bat.  Nick Masset warming up in the pen. Foul tip – full count, 3-2.  They’re playing “We Will Rock You!”.  Mound conference, tying run at the plate, full count, two out, bottom of the eighth. BASE HIT!  Line shot down the third base line, knocked down by David Freese, but the throw to first (the only play) was late and wide.  Phillips scored.  Thanks to the stolen base, Phillips otherwise may have been a force-out at third base.

12:54 – Ramon Hernandez up, Rolen on second, Stubbs on first. Pinch hitter Johnny Gomes on deck.  0-2 count to Hernandez.  Skied a pop-up to Matt Holliday in left field.  Inning over.  6-4 Cardinals.

12:58 – Oh great, Nick Masset facing Brendan Ryan, Albert Pujols, and Matt Holliday.  3-and-1 to Brendan Ryan, and the next pitch is a passed ball, way outside, rolls to the backstop.  Man on first, Pujols up.

12:59 – Moved up to 8th Place, Tim’s in first.  Now batting .318, and that steal gave me 4 points in that category.

1:01 – Nick Masset is a bit wild – chin music to the past two hitters, and Pujols is pissed.  3-0 count now. Green light, fouled back. 3-1 count, Base hit, line shot past a diving Rolen.  Men on the corners, Matt Holliday up.

1:03 – Holliday up, first pitch, chopper to shortstop, thow home, they’ve got Brendan Ryan in a pickle, got him.  Fielder’s choice.  Men on first (Holliday) and second (Pujols) – one out. Colby Rasmus up.

1:05 – 1-1 count to Colby Rasmus, base hit bloop over the shortstop.  Pujols tried to score from second in slow-motion.  Dickerson throws one up against the backstop, way over the catcher’s head.  Run scores – terrible play by Dickerson.

1:07 – Now an intentional walk to pinch-hitter Felipe Lopez, Holliday on third, Rasmus on second.  Now Lopez on first base.

1:08 – Yadier Molina up with one out, bases loaded.  First pitch – fly ball to right, Jay Bruce back. And it’s a grand slam.  Fuck.  11-4, a five run ninth inning.  Fuck Fuck Fuck.

1:09 – Freese up, long shot to Jay Bruce. Two out.

1:10 – Joe Mather now up, 0-2 count on two foul balls. Mather struck out.  That’s over with.

1:13 – Let’s look around the rest of the league:  Willy Taveras went 0-for-1 in a pinch hitting appearance.  Brian Bruney walked two, gave up a hit, and struck out one against the Phillies. Ronny Paulino went 0-for-3, Mike Jacobs went 0-for-4, Casey Blake 2-for-4, Tulo 1-for-3 with an RBI, Fielder 1-for-3, and in this game, Masset gave up 5 earned in one inning, with a strikeout – ERA of 45.000, while Brandon Phillips went 0-for-3 with a steal and a walk, Drew Stubbs 2-for-2 with a run and an RBI, and Holliday 1-for-4 with a run scored.

1:17 – Cubs/Braves underway, sticking with Cardinals/Reds for two more outs.

1:19 – Brandon Phillips has a strong knock off Ryan Franklin – over the head of the centerfielder Colby Rasmus, who was playing shallow, Chris Dickerson scores. Two out RBI double.

1:24 – Switched over to the Braves/Cubs game to arrive to replays of Marlon Byrd’s three-run home run against Derek Lowe.  Fukudome and Derrek Lee score.  First Home Run!

1:26 – Have game in full screen on left monitor – thanks to the Flash Hack, I can still type on right monitor.

1:30 – Suddenly the Braves have a run in, with the bases loaded and zero outs against Carlos Zambrano, with Troy Glaus up.

1:33 – I was there.  Jason Heyward’s major league debut.  2-0 count.  Both of his parents are Dartmouth grads.  HOLY SHIT – bullet home run to right field, with 2 on.  WOW.  6-3 Braves, bottom of the first.  The tomahawk chop is back in Atlanta – curtain call.  Too bad Mark didn’t ever activate him – so he’s still in Pirate Smoker’s minors.

1:46 – I’m up to a tie for 7th place.  My ERA thus far is 11.57, with a 2.429 WHIP (neither of which are the worst thus far).  4 runs, 1 homer, 1 steal, .357 average.  No wins, 5 K’s.  No saves recorded yet in the NL, but 3 wins have.

1:50 – Zambrano is done. After a throwing error to third base allows Martin Prado to score (7-3 Braves), Brian McCann hits a solo homer.  8-3 Braves, Zambrano storms off the field.

2:05 – Aramis Ramirez just went yard, two-run shot off Derek Lowe.  D’Backs game should be starting shortly, but only on TV.

2:06 – 1-1 count on Marlon Byrd.  Tough shadow between the mound and the plate.  Byrd strikes out.

2:10 – Lunch break, and the Padres-Diamondbacks game.  John McCain in some pretty good seats.

2:23 – Two on (Drew, Upton), one out for Adam LaRoche against Jon Garland. Bottom of the first.

2:25 – LaRoche, son of 14-year MLB veteran pitcher Dave LaRoche, goes 2-0 against Garland’s junkball stuff.  Two foul-tips to the third base side, then a ripped foul to the first base side.  Strikeout with high “heat” at 91mph.  Darn.  Reynolds then walks, and Miguel Montero singles in two. 2-0 Diamondbacks.

2:45 – Huge controversy in Atlanta.  Marlon Byrd hit a frozen rope to centerfield with Aramis Ramirez on first base.  CF Nate McLouth appeared to make a flat out grab, but it was shown on replay that he caught it, and then lost it.  Ramirez saw this, and advanced to second base.  However, the umpires called it a catch, and the Braves “doubled-off” Ramirez by tagging first.  What now, opponents of instant replay? Should be zero out, men on first and second.  Instead, two out, bases empty.  That’s a big issue in a 3-run game.

2:54 – D’Backs update – LaRoche is still 0-1, but Chase Headley has the only Padres hit, with a double.  Headley is batting fifth today, behind Kyle Blanks.  Headley ripped a 3-1 pitch from Dan Haren inside the first base line, past LaRoche, for a double.  Headley had previously been a .190 hitter against Dan Haren.

3:00 – Now the D’Backs broadcast is wasting a whole inning with Kurt Warner in the booth, since he threw out the first pitch.

3:07 – Seventh-inning stretch in Atlanta, still 8-5.  I’m back in 9th place, a half-point out of 8th, and 11.5 ahead of last.  And someone recorded a save – Steve got a save from Franklin Morales (Rockies).

3:08 – D’Backs Justin Upton has another little flair – now 2-for-2, and LaRoche is up.  LaRoche quickly goes 0-2, with two foul tips, 1-2 on an inside pitch, and then strikes out on a high check-swing strike.  Then Mark Reynolds goes yard to left – 4-0 Diamondbacks.

3:10 – Just endured five consecutive “Ivan Brothers” commercials on ESPN3 – must have lost the feed – that’s 2 Cisco commercials, a Toyota, and 3 ESPN promos.  And we’re back, having missed two pitches to Chipper Jones.

3:16 – The Cubs are bringing in Samardzija – he sucks.  Oh, the bases are loaded with no out.  First pitch double by Yunel Escobar, 3 runs score – clears the bases.  5 RBIs for Escobar.

3:17 – Standings check – back in tie for 8th place with 40.5 points.  Tim leads with 75.5, then Hersh with 64.5, and Barry with 62.

3:18 – Heyward goets to second on a bad throw from Derrek Lee, throwing over the head of Samardzija covering, another run scores. 12-5 Braves.

3:21 – Going to be a long season for the Cubs.  Eric Hinske hits a pinch-hit triple, driving in Heyward. 13-5 Braves.  Samardzija yanked, secured only one out.

3:23 – Dan Haren just got an infield single, as he hit a roller to third base. Chase Headley made a great play, but Adrian Gonzalez gave up on it, as he thought it was foul.  Knob. And then they gave the Error to Headley!

3:26 – Stephen Drew inside-the-park Home Run!  Haren scores – 6-0 Diamondbacks!

3:29 – Takashi Saito in to pitch the top of the eighth for the Braves, replacing Peter Moylan, who pitched a 1-2-3 seventh.  (Yes, I do have two games on at once).  Sean McDunaugh describes Saito’s 89mph offering as “lively”.

3:31 – Saito 2-2 count to Ryan Theriot, Slider away, Theriot waves at it – strikeout. One down.

3:32 – Saito facing Fukudome – strike one looking.  Inside, looking, strike two.  Curve got away from him outside – 1-2.  High, 2-2. A little flair to left field – Melky Cabrera nabs it.

3:34 – Derrek Lee up, this time from the right side.  First pitch strike, second pitch away – 1-1. Check-swing, didn’t go – 2-1.  Largest Day-game crowd ever at Turner Field – it’s 86 degrees and clear.  Just a bit outside – 3-1. Strike swinging at 89mph.  3-2 count.  Another swing and miss – 1-2-3 inning.  That will help my ERA. It goes from 11.57 and 2.429 WHIP to 10.12 ERA and 2.215 WHIP.

3:35 – Chase Headley pulls a foul ball down the first base line, and then gets a weak tapper off the hands, getting crossed up. Groundout to the pitcher.

3:40 – Omar Infante brought in as a defensive replacement for Chipper Jones.

3:44 – Heyward rips one up the box for a single, another RBI (his 4th). 15-5 Braves.

3:46 – Adam LaRoche hits the first pitch from new Padres pitcher Edward Mujica for a long fly ball to the warning track in straightaway center field, which Tony Gwynn, Jr. catches, unlike that inside-the-parker last inning by Stephen Drew.

3:53 – Omar Infante faces John Grabow (just brought in for Justin Berg) in the bottom of the eighth, and grounds out weakly to first base, but tallies an RBI, as Troy Glaus scores. 16-5 Braves.

3:56 – Billy Wagner in the game for the Braves, and Marlon Byrd will hit second.  And of course the announcers throw to Bristol.

3:57 – 1-0 to Marlon Byrd – high.  Byrd pops up the 1-0 pitch to Martin Prado at second base, back on the grass.  Nice effort.  At least he hit a homer.

3:59 – Alfonso Soriano up last for the Cubs, who’s looking a bit lost, both in Spring Training and today. 1-2 count, WHIFF on a 95mph down the pipe.  Game over – 16-5.

4:01 – Back to the Diamondbacks game – Adrian Gonzalez on second, after a Kyle Blanks groundout. Two outs. Chase Headley up.

4:02 – Headley 1-0 count.  Low strike – even Mark Grace called it a “generous strike”. Foul tip. 1-2 count, solid roller right up the mound behind Haren, and into centerfield.  Base hit Headley, and Gonzalez comes around to score, breaking up the shutout.  Gonzalez had max effort with no real speed shown – he even had to slide, thoough there was no play at the plate.  RBI for the Roadrunners!

4:04 – Will Venable flies out to end the inning.

4:10 – Seventh Inning stretch.  Apparently they had 4 F-16s fly over after the National Anthem at the start of the game, from north to south (centerfield to home plate).  Oh – roof’s open – 75 degrees.

4:12 – They just spent some time chatting with Tony Womack out in the stands.  Looks the same, except for a graying goatee.

4:16 – Justin Upton on first.  Adam LaRoche taps a 2-2 changeup from Tim Stauffer out near the warning track, where Kyle Blanks catches it.  0-for-4.

4:18 – Oh man – just saw that the final NL game of the day – Giants at Astros, is also on ESPN360.  Will pull that up after my 4:30 conference call.

4:20 – Aaron Heilman now pitching for the Diamonbacks.

4:21 – In the Astros game, apparently Hunter Pence struck out to end the first inning against Tim Lincecum.  Strike (looking), Strike (looking), Foul, Ball, Strike (swinging)

5:32 – Back from the conference call. Checking scores.  Wow – The Padres’ Adrian Gonzalez and Kyle Blanks went back-to-back off Bobby Howry in the top of the ninth to make the score 6-3 Diamondbacks. Both were with 2 outs.  Then Chase Headley lined out to second – looks like on the first pitch. Dbacks win 6-3.

5:36 – Checking the Giants/Astros, Giants are up 3-0 in the sixth. My only player in that game is Hunter Pence, and he’s 0-for-2 with 2 strikeouts.  Well, it is Tim Lincecum, but he only has 4 K’s through 5 innings. Here’s Pence’s PxP: Strike (looking), Ball, Strike (foul), Foul, Strike (swinging)

5:43 – Great. Checking the virtual standings again – I’m in last place, one point behind Mark and 6.5 behind Alex.  And since I only have Hunter Pence left playing today, I think that may be it, unless several pitchers get rocked more.  Only my 9 RBI and 7 strikeouts are positive marks on the day. Time for a fire sale . . .

5:47 – On a different note, the NCAA Basketball finals between 5-seed Butler and 1-seed Duke starts in the next half hour.  Unless Butler wins, I’m sure I’ll be even more depressed in three hours.

5:54 – Bottom of the sixth, and Hunter Pence grounds out to third base in a fielder’s choice, moving Bourn from second to third, and Kaz Matsui from first to second.

6:04 – Bottom of the seventh, Giants are now up on the Astros 4-0.  Let’s look at how the Roadrunners did today:

Hitters:

  • C  Chris Iannetta – 0-for-2, 2 walks
  • C  Ronny Paulino – 0-for-4
  • 1B Prince Fielder – 2 for 5, one strikeout
  • 2B Brandon Phillips – 1 for 4, with 2 RBI, one run, and a steal
  • SS Troy Tulowitzki – 1 for 4, with an RBI
  • 3B Casey Blake – 2 for 4
  • CM Adam LaRoche – 0 for 4, 2 strikeouts
  • MI Omar Infante – 0 for 1, one RBI
  • OF Matt Holliday – 1 for 4, one run
  • OF Hunter Pence – 0 for 3, 2 strikeouts
  • OF Marlon Byrd – 1 for 4, Home Run, 3 RBI, one run
  • OF Drew Stubbs – 2 for 2, run, RBI
  • OF Matt Diaz – did not play
  • UT Chase Headley – 2 for 4, 1 RBI

Totals:
12-for-46, 4 runs, 9 RBI, 1 HR, 1 SB

Pitchers:

  • Josh Johnson – 5 innings, 5 hits, 4 earned, 4 walks, 3 strikeouts
  • Takashi Saito – 1 inning, 0 hits, 0 earned, 2 strikeouts
  • Nick Masset – 1 inning, 5 earned, 2 walks, 1 strikeout
  • Brian Bruney – 1 inning, 2 hit, 0 earned, 2 walks, 1 strikeout

Totals:
8 IP, 9 hits, 9 ER, 7 K’s, 8 walks, ERA: 10.12, WHIP: 2.125

Last Place.  Oof!