Baseball came back in a big way yesterday, with lots of stories breaking all over Major League Baseball as the 2010 season has officially begun. After an epic showdown between the Yankees and Red Sox on Sunday night, the rest of the league opened up on Monday with some key matchups, teams with new free agents to watch, and rookies that are coming up to make a difference. Below is a recap of the top 5 moments from opening day. I’ll now be doing a baseball-related top-5 list every Tuesday!
5. Mets beat Marlins 7-1. The Mets, who are coming off a series of disappointing (and embarrassing) seasons, are looking to bounce back this year to make a run at the World Series. With CF Carlos Beltran, SS Jose Reyes, and 1B Daniel Murphy all starting the season on the DL, hopes were not high for yesterdays season opener at Citi Field vs. the Marlins. However, the Mets came out in flashy style, dominating the Marlins in every aspect of the game. Jason Bay, their new $66 Mil. free agent signing, came through with a single, a triple, and a run scored, and ace Johan Santana pitched six quality innings to set the table for the bullpen. Perhaps the biggest message was sent by David Wright, who in his first at-bat launched a 2-run, opposite field home run. The kid is back, and so, for now, are my beloved Mets.
4. Albert Pujols‘ stat line for opening day against the Reds: 4 for 5, 2 HR, 3 RBI, 4 Runs Scored. Enough said; the man is a legitimate baseball diety.
3. Roy Halladay‘s stat line for opening day against the Nationals: 7.0 Innings Pitched, 9 Strike Outs, 1 Run allowed. Since Halladay was traded from the Blue Jays to the Phillies this offseason, everyone in the baseball universe has been speculating as to his adjustment period from the American League to the National League. It seems that Halladay is a quick learner, making the Nationals look silly in his first regular season start for the Phils. Look for Halladay to put these numbers up consistently this season. Ask a fan of any AL East team and they’ll tell you that Halladay just doesn’t lose.
2. Jason Heyward has arrived. The #1 prospect in baseball did not disappoint in his debut game for the Braves, homering once and going 2 for 5 with 4 RBI and 1 Strikeout. Heyward is being called the “Next A-Rod,” so for him to come up and explode out of the Braves lineup is a huge sign for those down in Atlanta looking for a big push. The Braves aren’t known for having the most excited fans (if I have to listen to one more Mets / Braves game with those empty stands and completely boring Braves announcers, I’m gonna kill myself), so maybe having the best OF prospect since Barry Bonds will get them excited. Heyward looks like a star already, and it’ll be interesting to watch him turn into a megastar.
1. The Arizona Diamondbacks look DANGEROUS. They looked like a team to be feared in their opening game, showcasing their well-balanced roster across the board. From Dan Haren‘s excellent Win (7.0 Innings Pitched, 4 Strike Outs and only 1 Run Allowed), to Stephen Drew‘s speedy and knowledgeable base-running, to the dominant middle of the lineup power provided by Justin Upton and Mark Reynolds, the Diamondbacks looked like a team ready to explode. Regardless of their existence in the lowly National League West, the Diamondbacks look poised to be a top 5 team this season, and I look forward to their deep playoff push come September. In the meantime, enjoy the beautiful baseball they are playing, because the Diamondbacks make baseball look straight fun again.