Detroit Tigers (Kyle Lobstein) @Cleveland Indians (T.J. House)
Being a curious person, I was wondering what the initials "T.J." stand for so I went to the Baseball-Reference page of T.J. House. His full name is Glenn Anthony House. I do not see any Ts or Js anywhere in his name. T.J. House was born in Louisiana, so there's probably some folksy story about how he got the nickname T.J. I'm guessing it has something to do with crawdads.
My pick: Cleveland 6, Tigers 4
Actual score: Tigers 8, Indians 5
It's Miguel Cabrera's world and we're just living in it. Miggy had four hits today, including two home runs. He scored three and drove in four. He had a chance to hit for the cycle when he came to the plate in the 8th inning, but Cleveland manager Terry Francona ordered an intentional walk even though first base was occupied. The Tigers are now 6-0 for the first time since 1985, which was a banner year for 1980s music. Purple Rain, Born in the U.S.A., and Like a Virgin all spent time at the top of the Billboard charts for album sales that year.
(My record: 0-1)
St. Louis Cardinals (Carlos Martinez) @Cincinnati Reds (Raisel Iglesias)
Reds' pitcher Raisel Iglesias had an interesting journey to the major leagues. His first attempt to defect from Cuba was thwarted when he was caught hiding in the mountains of Isla de la Juventud in September of 2013. Two months later, he successfully defected and established residency in Haiti. You would have thought the Cuban government would keep better watch over him. After defecting to Haiti, he held a tryout in Mexico and was signed by the Reds. This is his major league debut. It's hard to know what he'll do. I'm guessing he has some trouble with his control, maybe four or five walks, but also a good number of strikeouts.
My pick: Cardinals 6, Reds 5
Actual score: Cardinals 7, Reds 5 [11 innings]
Miguel Cabrera wasn't the only guy to hit a pair of dingers today; the Cardinals' own Matt Carpenter had a pair of big flies of his own, including an 11-inning shot off Kevin Gregg that would be the game-winner. Cuban pitcher Raisel Iglesias pitched 5 innings, allowing 3 earned runs on 5 hits and 2 walks. He struck out 4.
(My record: 1-1)
Tampa Bay Rays (Nathan Karns) @Miami Marlins (Henderson Alvarez)
Congrats to Rays' first-year manager Kevin Cash on getting the first win of his career in yesterday's game. Cash is looking to be another in a long line of managers who epitomize the phrase: "Those that can, do. Those that can't, teach." Cash hit .183/.248/.278 in his major league career.
My pick: Marlins 5, Rays 4
Actual score: Rays 8, Marlins 5
This loss drops the Marlins to 1-5 on the season. Their $325 million right fielder, Giancarlo Stanton, is hitting .158. And they had two players suffer broken fingers today. All in all, it was not a fun day to be a Marlins fan.
(My record: 1-2)
Toronto Blue Jays (Drew Hutchison) @Baltimore Orioles (Chris Tillman)
The Blue Jays and Orioles look to have the best chance of beating out the Red Sox for the AL East, so even though these games are early in the season, they are meaningful. Both teams are 3-2, a game back of the Sox.
My pick: Orioles 7, Blue Jays5
Actual score: Blue Jays 10, Orioles 7
Balls were flying out of the yard in this game, as the teams combined to hit 5 home runs between them. Both starting pitchers gave up seven runs and neither lasted beyond the fifth inning. It was just a nice day for offense.
(My record: 1-3)
New York Mets (Bartolo Colon) @Atlanta Braves (Alex Wood)
When Bartolo Colon was signed as an amateur free agent by the Cleveland Indians in 1993, the opposing pitcher in this game, Alex Wood, was two years old.
My pick: Braves 5, Mets 3
Actual score: Mets 4, Braves 3
A closely fought game had it's bright, shining moment in the fourth inning when Bartolo Colon got a bloop single to drive in a run. It was his first RBI in a decade. On the swing, Colon lost his batting helmet and broke his bat, but when the ball landed safely and Colon had chugged on down to first, he stood on the bag with a grin on his face. He also pitched well enough to win, allowing 3 runs in 7 innings and not walking a single batter. Nice game for Bartolo Colon all-around. He's the total package, ladies.
(My record: 1-4)
Washington Nationals (Max Scherzer) @Philadelphia Phillies (Sean O'Sullivan)
The Nationals are off to a rough start and the offense is mostly to blame as the team has scored just nine runs so far, the fewest in the majors. Ryan Zimmerman and Dan Uggla have combined to start the year 4 for 33 (.121). Zimmerman is likely to come around but Uggla is a big question mark. He's been getting progressively worse since his last good season in 2012. Over the last two years, Uggla has hit .171/.291/.326. It's surprising the Nationals are playing him when they could give Danny Espinosa a shot.
My pick: Nationals 4, Phillies 2
Actual score: Nationals 4, Phillies 3 [10 innings]
Considering his past history, Phillies' starter Sean O'Sullivan pitched much better than anyone had any right to expect. He gave up just two runs in six innings. The Nationals' Max Scherzer was better, allowing just a single run in six innings, but Max Scherzer is Max Scherzer and has Max Scherzer stuff, while Sean O'Sullivan is Sean O'Sullivan with Sean O'Sullivan stuff, so it wouldn't be fair to expect Sean O'Sullivan to out-pitch The Scherz.
(My record: 2-4)
Minnesota Twins (Phil Hughes) @Chicago White Sox (Chris Sale)
Chris Sale is making his season debut a little late this year because of a foot injury. The White Sox badly need his pitching ability as they've given up 31 runs in their first 5 games (6.2 runs/game). He gets a nice matchup in his first start and should be good for the win.
My pick: White Sox 5, Twins 1
Actual score: White Sox 6, Twins 2
White Sox' starter Chris Sale had a triumphant return to the rotation after missing his first start of the year with a foot injury. Sale struck out eight in six innings while allowing a single run. He got homers from Adam LaRoche and Gordon Beckham and earned his first victory of the year.
(My record: 3-4)
Pittsburgh Pirates (Casey Sadler) @Milwaukee Brewers (Kyle Lohse)
Pirate's hurler Casey Sadler is a 25th round pick from Western Oklahoma State College, so he was a longshot to ever get to the big leagues, but he's here now, so good for him.
My pick: Pirates 5, Brewers 4
Actual score: Pirates 10, Brewers 2
Andrew McCutchen sat out yesterday's game but returned with a vengeance today, knocking two hits, including a home run, and driving in four. Neil Walker added a three-run shot as part of a six-run ninth inning for the Pirates.
(My record: 4-4)
Houston Astros (Dallas Keuchel) @Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis)
Seattle Seahawks' quarterback Russell Wilson has been invited to spring training by the Texas Rangers twice and doesn't want to give up on a baseball career just yet. Wilson will be featured on an upcoming episode of Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel (who apparently is still alive and involved in sports, who knew?). Wilson will talk about the painful (to Seahawks' fans and Patriots haters) ending to the Super Bowl and about his thoughts on "pushing the envelope" as a two-sports star. It will probably be more interesting to watch than this game.
My pick: Astros 6, Ranger 5
Actual score: Astros 6, Rangers 4 [14 innings]
The Astros jumped out to a 4-0 lead that lasted until the bottom of the 7th. The Rangers plated two in the 7th and two more in the 8th to tie the score and it remained tied until the top of the 14th. Logan Verrett came in to pitch for the Rangers and gave up a walk and a 2-run ding-a-ling to Hank Conger that put the 'Stros up by a pair. Sam Deduna got through the ninth to earn the first save of his career.
(My record: 5-4)
Kansas City Royals (Yordano Ventura) @Los Angeles Angels (C.J. Wilson)
The 5-0 start by the Royals is the second-best start in team history, behind only a 9-0 start in 2003. That 2003 season was a lone bright spot amid years of losing. It was their only winning season in the stretch of years from 1994 to 2012. With Yordano Ventura on the hill, they have a good chance to go 6-0.
My pick: Royals 7, Angels 3
Actual score: Royals 9, Angels 2
Young Yordano Ventura gave up two runs through 5 2/3 innings but had to leave the game with a cramp in his right leg. Still, he pitched well enough and the Royals brought the bats, so this proved to be an easy victory.
(My record: 6-4)
Seattle Mariners (Felix Hernandez) @Oakland Athletics (Jesse Hahn)
The Mariners had an exciting win on Saturday and get the King on the hill today. No matter how good or bad the Mariners are in any given season, as long as they have Felix Hernandez on their team, one out of every five games or so will be something to look forward to.
My pick: Mariners 4, Athletics 3
Actual score: Mariners 8, Athletics 7 [10 innings]
The King was not very King-like today. Felix Hernandez had a very mediocre start in this one, giving up three runs and allowing ten baserunners in five innings. He only struck out one batter. The Mariners fell behind 3-0 in the 4th but came back with four runs in the 6th and three more in the 7th to take a 7-3 lead into the bottom of the 9th. Then it was Fernando Rodney's time to implode. Rodney gave up four runs on four hits and two walks to let the Athletics tie the game. Nelson Cruz then hit a solo homer in the top of the 10th to give the Mariners the lead. Yoervis Medina pitched the bottom of the inning for the save. In a prime example of just how ridiculous the win statistic is, Fernando Rodney was credited with the victory in this one.
(My record: 7-4)
San Francisco Giants (Jake Peavy) @San Diego Chargers (Tyson Ross)
Jake Peavy was scratched from his projected start on Wednesday, but the Giants are hopeful he can make the start today. He's dealing with back problems. I don't see a good outcome here for Peavy.
My pick: Padres 6, Giants 1
Actual score: Padres 6, Giants 4
Jake Peavy and his hurt back could only get through four innings in today's ballgame, although he did throw 87 pitches. He wasn't sharp, though, giving up four runs in those four innings. Teammate Yusmeiro Petit was off his game as well; Petit gave up 2 runs in 2 2/3 innings. The hero for the Padres was catcher Wil Nieves, who hit a grand slam off Peavy in the 4th.
(My record: 8-4)
Chicago Cubs (Kyle Hendricks) @Colorado Rockies (Jordan Lyles)
It's too bad the Cubs and Rockies couldn't plan things better. They could have had Kyle Hendricks face Kyle Kendricks. They missed it by one day. Get on your game, Cubs and Rockies.
My pick: Rockies 8, Cubs 6
Actual score: Cubs 6, Rockies 5
The Rockies led this game 5-3 going into the top of the 9th. Boone Logan started the inning and struck out Miguel Montero. Logan was in for the lefty-on-lefty matchup. The Rockies then brought in their closer, LaTroy Hawkins, who is 166 years old (I kid, I kid). Hawkins walks Arismendy Alcantara then strikes out Mike Olt. Everyone strikes out Mike Olt, of course. In the annual Olt Family Reunion, Mike Olt's grandma has faced Olt ten times and struck him out five times. Hawkins then gave up a hit to Welington Castillo and a three-run homer to Dexter Fowler and the Rockies were down. Hawkins has now blown two save opportunities and it might be time for him to hang up his spikes.
(My record: 8-5)
Los Angeles Dodgers (Zack Greinke) @Arizona Diamondbacks (Josh Collmenter)
Dodgers' starter Zack Greinke will try NOT to follow the example set by Clayton Kershaw yesterday as the Dodgers try to avoid being swept by the Diamondbacks.
My pick: Dodgers 5, Diamondbacks 2
Actual score: Dodgers 7, Diamondbacks 4
The Dodgers scored a single run in the 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, and 7th innings to take a 5-0 lead behind Zack Greinke's 7 scoreless innings. They added two more runs in the top of the 9th and led 7-0 heading into the bottom of the inning. It looked like an easy win. But the Diamondbacks did not go gentle into that good night. Paco Rodriguez came in for the Dodgers and gave up two hits around a strikeout, which brought in the Dodgers' current closer, Chris Hatcher. Hatcher gave up a double, then walked the next batter. He struck out Nick Ahmed for out number two but a single and double chased him from the game. With the trying run on deck, the Dodgers went to veteran Joel Peralta and Peralta got Ender Inciarte to fly out to end the game. It turned out to be not so easy, but it was a win for the Dodgers.
(My record: 9-5)
Boston Red Sox (Clay Buchholz) @New York Yankees (Masahiro Tanaka)
All eyes were on Masahiro Tanaka in his season debut because of concerns about his elbow. He did not pitch well but claimed it had nothing to do with his elbow. That game was against a very good offense, the Toronto Blue Jays, and he doesn't get a cushy start here either. People probably just need to chill a little and let Tanaka pitch a few games before getting too concerned, but that's not how Yankees fans are. They can't "just chill" about anything.
My pick: Yankees 7, Red Sox 4
Actual score: Yankees 14, Red Sox 4
The Yankees avoided being swept by the hated Red Sox but busting out for 16 hits and 14 runs. Sox' starter Clay Buchholz had a rough outing, allowing 10 runs (9 earned) in 3 1/3 innings. Masahiro Tanaka got the win but his pitching line was not stellar: 5 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K.
(My record: 10-5)
My Prediction Record--Week 1
Day 1: 7-7
Day 2: 1-6
Day 3: 9-6
Day 4: 5-4
Day 5: 6-9
Day 6: 5-10
Day 7: 10-5
Total: 43-47, .478