*Buddy Carlyle pitched for the Atlanta Braves from 2007 to 2009 then began a nomadic baseball existence. Actually, that's not precisely true. Even before 2010, Carlyle had been a baseball nomad, traveling from team to team and league to league. Along with the three major league teams he'd pitched for, he spent time on the rosters of 15 different minor league teams and pitched two years in Japan. Heading into the 2010 season, he was 32 years old and had pitched in parts of six major league seasons for three different teams. He had a career ERA of 5.61.
In 2010, Buddy Carlyle returned to Japan to pitch for the Hokkaido Nippon-Ham Fighters of the Nippon Professional Baseball League and was 0-3 with a 4.88 ERA over 27 2/3 innings. He returned to the states in 2011 and pitched 7 2/3 innings for the New York Yankees with a 4.70 ERA, then was outrighted to Scranton/Wilkes Barre. In 2012, he signed a minor league contract with the Atlanta Braves and spent the year with Gwinnett. In 2013, he signed a minor league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays and pitched for the Buffalo Bisons. In 2014, he signed a minor league contract with the New York Mets and bounced between New York and the Las Vegas 51s. In 27 games with the Mets last year, Carlyle was 1-0 with a 1.45 ERA.
In the first 253 1/3 innings of his major league career, Carlyle had a career strikeout rate of 7.0 batters per nine innings and had walked 3.6 batters per nine. With the Mets last year, at the age of 36 and almost 20 years after he was first drafted in the second round of the June 1996 Amateur Draft, Buddy Carlyle had his best year ever: 8.1 K/9 and 1.5 BB/9. So when Buddy Carlyle was brought into the season-opener for the Mets today and got the final two outs for his first career save . . . well, let's just agree that it was a very nice baseball moment for a 37-year-old pitcher who most assuredly loves the game. Good for you, Buddy Carlyle!
Atlanta Braves (Alex Wood) @Miami Marlins (Mat Latos)
The Marlins lost yesterday's game in part because they failed to close their retractable roof in time and experienced a 16-minute rain delay. After the delay, Marlins speedy second baseman Dee Gordon was thrown out stealing on a wet track. Later, he slipped in the damp dirt on an attempt for a bunt single. The Marlins lost the game by a single run, so those two wet field related occurrences may have been the difference. In today's game, the Marlins will try to contain Nick Markakis, who had both of the Braves' RBIs in yesterday's action.
My pick: Marlins 6, Braves 4
Baltimore Orioles (Wei-Yin Chen) @Tampa Bay Rays (Nathan Karns)
With three members of the Rays' rotation out with injuries, Nate Karns gets the start for their second game of the season. In 24 major league innings over the last two seasons, Karns has given up 8 homers and has a 6.00 ERA for his career. He's not that bad, though, and should give the team a fighting chance. Maybe not in this game, but in some game, some day, in the future.
My pick: Orioles 8, Rays 3
St. Louis Cardinals (Lance Lynn) @Chicago Cubs (Jake Arrieta)
The Kris Bryant countdown continues. Ten more days until the Cubs can recall Bryant from the minor leagues and push back his service time clock for one more year which will prevent Bryant from signing a gazillion dollar contract until after the 2021 season.
My pick: Cubs 6, Cardinals 3
Colorado Rockies (Jordan Lyles) @Milwaukee Brewers (Matt Garza)
The Rockies blasted the Brewers 10-0 in the first game of the season and Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez combined for 5 hits and 5 runs scored, but the most surprising thing about this game was the seven scoreless innings pitched by Kyle Kendrick. Just because the Rockies blasted the Brewers yesterday doesn't mean they'll do it again today.
My pick: Brewers 8, Rockies 6
San Francisco Giants (Ryan Vogelsong) @Arizona Diamondbacks (Rubby De La Rosa)
The Giants have won the World Series three times in the last five years and missed the playoffs in the two in-between seasons. They won their game yesterday, but Matt Cain went for an MRI on his elbow and Jake Peavy was scratched from today's start with back tightness. In his place, 37-year-old Ryan Vogelsong will get the start. The Giants are already relying on 39-year-old Tim Hudson as one member of the rotation, so if Cain and Peavy aren't healthy, the Giants will be scrambling. Luckily, they get to play the Diamondbacks again today.
My pick: Giants 5, Diamondbacks 3
Texas Rangers (Colby Lewis) @Oakland Athletics (Jesse Hahn)
Jesse Hahn is one of many new faces on the A's roster this year and is making his Oakland debut. He pitched well for the Padres as a rookie last year in a great pitcher's park and could be a nice surprise for the A's this year in their great pitcher's park.
My pick Athletics 5, Rangers 4
Angels' starter C.J. Wilson is a devoted Taoist after converting from Christianity. He lives a Straight Edge lifestyle, which means he abstains from alcohol, illegal drugs, tobacco, and promiscuous sex in order to maintain health. Those are like the four basic food groups of Charlie Sheen's life. C.J. Wilson is also married to Brazilian model Lisalla Montenegro so, yeah, good for him.
My pick: Mariners 6, Angels 4
San Diego Padres (Tyson Ross) @Los Angeles Dodger (Zack Grienke)
The Padres roughed up the world's greatest pitcher, Clayton Kershaw, yesterday, so what chance does Zack Greinke have of containing this offensive juggernaut? A pretty good chance, actually. Greinke's good. The Dodgers will win again.
My pick: Dodgers 7, Padres 3