AP Photo/Colin E. Braley

Royals hang on to beat the Mets in 2016 season opener

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The Royals had a pretty firm grasp on the 2016 season opener against the Mets, a rematch of the 2015 World Series. Starter Edinson Volquez pitched six shutout innings while Lorenzo Cain reached base three times and Eric Hosmer logged three hits, helping the Royals ascend to a 4-0 lead.

It was looking like a comfortable win, but the Mets struck for three runs in the top of the eighth to nearly erase their four-run deficit. With the bases loaded and one out against reliever Joakim Soria, Lucas Duda slapped a two-run single to the opposite field, also opening up the opportunity for Yoenis Cespedes to advance to third base. Neil Walker brought him home on a ground out, but that was as far as the Mets got.

Closer Wade Davis came in, but found himself in immediate trouble. He issued a leadoff walk to Travis d'Arnaud and a one-out single to Curtis Granderson, putting runners at first and third. Davis bounced back, striking out David Wright looking, then getting Cespedes to strike out on an outside fastball.

Mets starter Matt Harvey, who had a health scare last week, pitched better than his line score indicates. He gave up four runs (three earned) on eight hits and two walks with two strikeouts. He was hurt in the first inning when Cespedes dropped a routine fly ball and d’Arnaud couldn’t handle a fastball, allowing runner advancement.

The 2015 World Series rematch will continue on Tuesday afternoon, the final game of the two-game set. Noah Syndergaard will toe the slab for the Mets while Chris Young starts for the Royals. There has been some hubbub surrounding Syndergaard over a report that indicated the Royals would seek revenge for an up-and-in pitch he threw to Alcides Escobar in Game 3 of the World Series. The Royals, however, shot down that report and Syndergaard doesn’t think he did anything worthy of revenge.

Thus concludes an exciting day of baseball on Opening Day. If you missed the other action, Francisco Liriano pitched the Pirates past the Cardinals with 10 strikeouts, and the Blue Jays’ Marcus Stroman killed the Rays with ground balls. The rest of the league opens up the season on Monday.

Blake Snell becomes client of Boras Corporation

Blake Snell
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Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.

Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”

Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.

Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.