The first week of the baseball season feels a bit odd compared to the rest of the year. Individual games are analyzed more because we forgot how baseball works (i.e. one game doesn’t matter). Start times are odd — more day games than usual, unexpected off days — so every team can optimize Opening Day gate and TV times and stuff. As such, it’s easy to lose track of who is playing when.
So, while we don’t usually do this, I feel like it’s worth reminding everyone when the Opening Day games are today and tomorrow. Because, you know, Google is for suckers:
Today’s games, all Eastern Daylight Time:
Cubs vs. Pirates 1:00PM, ESPN
Royals vs. Tigers 1:08PM
Nationals vs. Mets 1:10PM
Phillies vs. Rangers 2:05PM
Braves vs. Brewers 2:10PM
Red Sox vs. Orioles 3:00PM, ESPN2
Cardinals vs. Reds 4:00PM, ESPN
Twins vs. White Sox 4:10PM
Blue Jays vs. Rays 4:10PM
Rockies vs. Marlins 7:00PM ESPN2
Giants vs. Diamondbacks 9:40PM
Mariners vs. Angels 10:00PM ESPN2
Indians vs. Athletics 10:05PM
The only two teams not to open last night or today are the Yankees and Astros. Their first game is at 7:10PM Eastern time tomorrow night.
Oh, and in case you need something to get you motivated for today:
Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.
Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez has wasted no time acclimating himself to major league competition. Since getting called back up on August 3, Sanchez has smacked nine homers and driven in 16 runs in a span of 18 games. In fact, since August 3, no hitter has homered more than Sanchez and only Charlie Blackmon and Brian Dozier have matched him, Katie Sharp of River Ave Blues notes.
One of those homers came in Wednesday afternoon’s game against the Mariners at Safeco Field. It was a first-inning blast off of Hisashi Iwakuma, quickly giving the Yankees a 1-0 lead. They would go on to win 5-0. Sanchez finished 2-for-3 with a pair of intentional walks, a double, and the homer.
Some more fun facts about Sanchez, courtesy Sharp:
- Sanchez is the first Yankee in club history with nine home runs in his first 21 career games [Link]
- Sanchez is the third American League player in the last 100 years to hit at least nine home runs in his first 21 career games, joining George Scott and Alvin Davis [Link]
- Sanchez and Joe DiMaggio are the only Yankees with 15 or more extra-base hits in their first 21 career games [Link]
Sanchez was considered the fifth-best prospect in the Yankees’ minor league system, according to MLB Pipeline. In the majors, he’s carrying a .389/.450/.847 triple-slash line in 79 plate appearances. He has also thrown out five of seven would-be base-stealers.
American swimmer Katie Ledecky, fresh off of winning four gold medals at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janiero, Brazil, was in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday night to throw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to the Nationals’ game against the Orioles.
As NHL.com’s Katie Brown notes, Ledecky’s favorite player is Nationals outfielder Bryce Harper, who was on the field with her. So what did she make him do? Hold all of her medals while she threw out the first pitch.
Harper has his fair share of hardware, including a Rookie of the Year Award and an MVP Award, but no gold medals. For shame.