Friday, April 1, 2011

Full Count: March 31st

Ball 1: Clayton Kershaw
The Dodgers ace answered the call in the Opening Day matchup pitting the trendy "Breakout Player" =, Kershaw, against two-time Cy Young winner, the Freak, Tim Lincecum. Both pitchers pitched well, but Kershaw pitched brilliantly en route to a 2-1 Dodgers victory over their arch rivals. In 7.0 shutout innings, Kershaw gave up 4 hits and 1 walk, while striking out 9.

Strike 1: Albert Pujols
Don't get used to seeing the best player in baseball next to the word "strike" this year. His play yesterday left me no choice, though. Pujols had his worst game in five years, according to ESPN's WPA(Win Probability Added). He was 0-5, leaving five men on base and grounding into 3 double plays. 

Ball 2: Ramon Hernandez
The Reds picked up right where they left off in 2010, winning a 7-6 game against Milwaukee in the final at bat. They were trailing 6-4 when Ramon Hernandez stepped up to the plate with two outs. He was already 3-4 when he reached the plate, and he made his day even more special, ending the game with a three-run walk off shot.

Strike 2: John Axford
When there are heroes because of a four runs ninth inning to win a game, that usually means there is someone on the other side to blame. In this case, it is closer John Axford. Last year, he replaced Trevor Hoffman pretty well, saving 24 in 27 chances. However, yesterday he pitched just 0.2 innings, giving up  4 runs on 2 hits and a walk. Not a good start for Mr. Axford

Ball 3: Cameron Maybin
This is a guy who was expected to be on many lists like this throughout his career, but he just hasn't blossomed yet. San Diego is hoping he does this year, and he got off to a fantastic start yesterday. He tied the game in the with a two-out, solo home run to extend the game to extra innings. In the 11th, he hit and RBI single to knock in the game winning run. The Padres put up one more insurance run and were able to win the game 5-3 in 11.  

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