Nelson Cruz hit’s his fourth homer of the season versus the Cardinals as the Mariners bounce back from a defeat to the Giants. Criuz nails a deep shot to right scoring Cano and taking the lead for good. Also homering was Nori Aoli (1) as he is starting to heat up.
H. Iwakuma goesre 6.0 innings striking out a season high 11 but struggled giving up four earned runs and the Mariners bullpen took over with E. Scribner (W, 1-0), J. Fields (H, 1), C. Furbush (H, 1) getting their first hold of the season and J. Benoit (S, 1) comes in to nail it down.
Joe DiMaggio leads off the game with a homer (1) in a Texas Showdown in Arlington, Mickey Mantle knocks out his third homer of the season as that’s all the Yankees would need to get by the Rangers. CC. Sabatha goes five innings for his first win of the season, he allows seven hits and one ERA with eight strike outs. Pettitte ans Ford get holds (1) as G.Gossage comes in for the save..
Rafael Palmeiro hit’s his second homer of the season as the Rangers come back and to defeat the Tigers. Palmeiro homers deep to left to give the Rangers the lead for good, four players doubled lead by Cruz’s fourth of the season. Rookie Y.Darvish (W, 2-0) picks up another win as he goes 7 strong for the win allowing four runs and striking out 11. J.Nathan with hold number two on the season as J.Wetteland with another save (2) on the season.
Jhonny Peralta helps the Tigers take their first series from the Indians (2-1) Jhonny Peralta hit’s .333, 4 hits and one homer and six big RBI’s in the series making him the series MVP.
Rangers bounce back from their loss to the Mainers as they headed to Minnesota to tangle with the Twins. A 3-2 score and the Rangers pick up their second win of the season behind David Murphys first homer of the season and A.Ogando’s 7 innings of great pitching and 8 strike outs,J.Nathan comes in and shuts the door in the ninth as he picks up save number one, Y.Tateyama Holds the game with one inning of pitching. J.Hamilton and M.Young both picked up their second double of the season.
Seattle: King Felix pitches a complete game to shout out the Rangers 1-0, Hernandez the whole 9 innings and looked great doing so. The Mariners get 11 strike outs by him and the complete game shutout, a very strong performance to kick off their season. J.Montero knocks in I.Suzuki for the winning run.
Michael Cuddyer is off to a hot start as he has belted two homers in the first two games of the season and has driving in five RBI’s. The Rockies are off to a 1-1 start in two games as they were defeated by the Cincinnati Reds (Jeremy Guthrie Loss 1) to even the series up.
Neftali Feliz pitches 7 strong innings and gives up five hits to the Blue Jays in the leagues opening game. He records 11 strike outs in the win. Josh Hamilton,Mike Napoli,Nelson R. Cruz all homered in the game as Josh homers right off in the first to get the ball rolling. Eric Thames for the Blue Jays goes 3 for 4 as he nail’s down three singles.
The Milwaukee Brewers had an interesting offseason. Early on, all the attention was on Prince Fielder. Everyone wanted to see if he was going to stay or if he was going to go. Then the attention shifted to Ryan Braun, as word came out that he was facing a 50-game suspension for a positive PED test.
Then the attention shifted back to Fielder, who signed a monstrous contract with the Detroit Tigers.
Then it shifted back to Braun, who won his fight against MLB. He will not have to sit out the first 50 games of the 2012 season.
So on balance, this offseason could have been better, and it could have been a lot worse.
Meanwhile, the Brewers are looking pretty good heading into the 2012 regular season. Here’s a look at how things are shaping up.
2011 Record: 96-66
Key Arrivals (courtesy of BaseballProspectus.com): 1B Travis Ishikawa (FA), SS Alex Gonzalez (FA), RHP Jose Veras (from Pittsburgh), 3B Aramis Ramirez (FA), LHP Juan Perez (FA), SS Cesar Izturis (FA), 3B Brooks Conrad (FA), C Paul Phillips (FA), SS Jeff Bianchi (waivers), OF Norichika Aoki (FA), RHP Vinnie Chulk (FA).
Key Departures: 1B Prince Fielder (FA), 3B Casey McGehee (to Pittsburgh), OF Mark Kotsay (FA), Yuniesky Betancourt (FA), RHP LaTroy Hawkins (FA), RHP Takashi Saito (FA), OF Jerry Hairston, Jr. (FA).
Left fielder Carl Crawford will likely start the season on the disabled list, giving Cody Ross a chance to see if his swing is perfect for Fenway. Sweeney, acquired from the Oakland A’s in the deal that brought over closer Andrew Bailey in exchange for Josh Reddick, will also be given the opportunity to see regular time in Crawford’s absence.
In a perfect world, manager Bobby Valentine would love to have Crawford leading off, moving Ellsbury down to take advantage of his power and production. However, the 1-2 punch of Ellsbury and Pedroia at the top of the order still isn’t a bad table-setting duo for A-Gone, Youk and Ortiz.
Valentine has yet to tip his hand on who he plans to start on Opening Day, however, Lester is on track to start the opener based on current rest.
Yes, they’re a year older, but they scored the second most runs in baseball last year, and the well-oiled machine continues to run. A-Rod appears to be determined after receiving platelet injections overseas.
Manager Joe Girardi will also use Gardner in the leadoff role as he gives more time off this season to Jeter, with Eduardo Nunez filling in.
There isn’t much not to like about this team right now, and the AL East could be theirs to lose.
Seattle Mariners manager is hoping that his lineup in 2012 can be productive, and he’s counting on new leadoff man Chone Figgins to find the form that made him so pesky at the top of the order with the Los Angeles Angels in the late 2000s.
To say that Figgins has been a massive disappointment thus far in Seattle would be a vast understatement, but Wedge is hoping that returning Figgins to the top of the batting order will reinvigorate him. Wedge is also hoping that Smoak can dust off the images of a tough 2011 campaign, and new addition Montero will be a key cog in the middle of the order as well.
Ackley could very well turn into the sparkplug for the entire offense. Much is expected from the 24-year-old second baseman, who hit .273 with six HR and 36 RBI in his debut season.
With the addition of Prince Fielder, the Detroit Tigers will certainly have no issues putting runs on the board. The 3-7 hitters in the lineup are as good as it gets. A healthy Boesch will be a welcome addition in the No. 2 hole, and manager Jim Leyland will have some decisions to make regarding DH, third base and left field.
Brandon Inge could also impact the lineup at second base, drawing rave reviews for his work there thus far. Inge’s impact on the lineup will hinge upon his bat, which led to a demotion last season and a paltry .197 average, although he hit much better in the postseason.
Young seems much better-suited to a DH role with a questionable glove in left, and Dirks is hitting .400 in five spring contests. Ryan Raburn gives Leyland a terrific option with his flexibility as well.
When discussing the Tampa Bay Rays, everyone raves about the pitching, and rightly so. However, the offense could be better than expected. Longoria was slowed by injuries last year, and with Pena back in the lineup will be offered much better protection. Having Jennings for a full year at the top of the lineup should be beneficial, and if Scott can rebound from an injury-plagued 2011 season, the Rays present an offense that could be much more supportive of its terrific starting rotation.
The Washington Nationals feature a terrific pitching staff with the additions of Gonzalez and Edwin Jackson, and manager Davey Johnson is hoping that his offense can be a help rather than a hindrance. Zimmerman looks to return to health following a 2011 campaign in which he missed two months, Werth will look to improve on a disappointing first season in the nation’s capital and LaRoche will hope his surgically repaired shoulder holds up. Morse, Ramos and Espinosa all provide plenty of power and Desmond will need to improve on a .298 on-base percentage at the top.
The Atlanta Braves are looking to put last year’s collapse completely behind them, and they’ll be doing it with essentially the lineup that brought them crashing down to earth in late September. Braves GM Frank Wren made virtually no moves during the offseason, save for the Derek Lowe deal with the Cleveland Indians. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez departed via free agency, handing the reins over to young Tyler Pastornicky, who thus far is hitting .091 in seven spring games. However, not so fast. Another young shortstop in the Braves’ system, 22-year-old Andrelton Simmons, has dazzled thus far in camp with his superior defense, and is hitting .300 this spring after leading the Carolina League in batting last year. No less than 40-year-old veteran Chipper Jones has been blown away by Simmons’ abilities.
“This kid has got it all,” Jones said. “When you haven’t played a game above [Class] A ball and everybody who sees you says you’re Major League-ready defensively, that’s saying something.
“He’s confident, but he’s not outwardly showy. He’s like another former player from Curacao (Andruw Jones) who knew the game came easy to him. That’s fun to watch.”
Jurrjens draws the Opening Day starter nod with Tim Hudson shelved until early May. Jurrjens allowed six walks in his start against the Yankees on Saturday, however his right knee, which plagued him the second half of last season, appears to be healthy.
The Braves will clearly be aided by a full year of Michael Bourn at the leadoff spot, and right fielder Jason Heyward will be expected to bounce back from a miserable sophomore season.
The Los Angeles Dodgers will look to improve upon last year’s 82-79 finish with a lineup that features several changes. Gordon impressed after being handed the starting shortstop role for the final two months of last season, posting a .324 average and 24 stolen bases. Only seven walks were a bit of a concern, but Gordon’s plate discipline should improve with maturity. Ellis comes over from Oakland to provide stability at second base, and Juan Rivera will look to build on a strong second half for the Dodgers last year, with 46 RBI in 62 games. The biggest key is the return to form by right fielder Andre Ethier. While he started off strong last season with a 30-game hitting streak, Ethier’s production dipped dramatically, and knee issues eventually ended his season early. The Dodgers need Ethier to produce the way he did in 2009 and 2010 in order to provide proper protection for Kemp. A healthy and more svelte Uribe would be a welcome addition as well, and Ellis is likely just a bridge for catching prospect Tim Federowicz, who will likely be around in 2013.
The Arizona Diamondbacks went out and tamed the West last season—the NL West, that is. Fresh off their surprising division title, GM Kevin Towers went out and reloaded for another run in 2012. Kubel takes over in left for Gold Glove-winning Gerardo Parra, and while it’s definitely a dropoff in defensive abilities, Parra now gives manager Kirk Gibson flexibility in his outfield. Stephen Drew is still several weeks away from a return, and will likely start the season on the disabled list. Drew is only eight months into his recovery from a broken ankle suffered last July, and likely won’t be in action until early May at the latest. Bloomquist should get the nod for now, with John McDonald also in the mix.If Goldschmidt can deliver on the power, he could very well slide into the cleanup to provide protection for Upton. Nonetheless, it’s a pretty solid lineup.
Much of the success of the San Francisco Giants’ offense in 2012 will be predicated by their new 1-2 combo at the top of the order in Pagan and Cabrera. Obviously, Posey’s return to the lineup will be a huge lift as well, and Huff will be relied on to bounce back from a sub-par 2011 season. Brandon Belt could impact the roster if Huff fails to deliver, and Crawford has yet to show he can handle major league pitching as of yet.
Still, with the return of Posey and Sanchez and the additions of Pagan and Cabrera should lead to Giants to score more than last season’s paltry 570 runs.
The Texas Rangers have made it clear that Micheal Young will be traded for the right trade. Young is a all-star and can play any position on the field, Rangers front office has said “We hate to see him go but we are in look of help in the bullpen or starting pitching…