It was a beautiful day in Major League Baseball as the league celebrated Jackie Robinson Day. It was the 75th anniversary of the day he broke the color barrier, the most important day in the history of baseball.
The league celebrated with every player wearing 42 on their backs, this time in the style of Robinson’s Brooklyn Dodgers uniform. It is always a great day to stop and reflect on what Robinson did for our game, and how much he mean to our game.
We lead off today’s Highlight Reel with a fitting tribute to Jackie.
Mets 10, Diamondbacks 3
Baseball has its way of being poetic quite often, and it happened again Friday. The first home run of the day was hit by Robinson Canó, who was named after Jackie Robison. If that is not a fitting start to this important day, I do not know what is.
The homer helped the Mets open their season in dominant fashion against the D-Backs. Chris Bassitt struck out six in six innings in his Citi Field debut, and the Mets poured 10 runs on Arizona. The exclamation point was put on this one with back-to-back home runs by Starling Marte and Francisco Lindor.
Dodgers 3, Reds 1
This game would not normally feature towards the top of the highlight reel, but it was a special day at Dodger Stadium. The team that gifted the league with the talents of Jackie Robinson, celebrated him with class as they usually do. Before the game, the team gathered around Jackie’s statue and his son, David, addressed the team.
Also on hand, as usual, was the ever graceful Rachel Robinson, Jackie’s widow. Rachel is turning 100 years old in July as she continues to carry on the legacy of her iconic husband. It is always wonderful to see her on this day as she and her son met with Dodgers players on the field before the game.
As for the game, Jackie’s team cruised to a relatively painless victory. There were not a whole lot of highlights from either side and the Dodgers led pretty much the whole way. Trea Turner showed off his ever impressive skillset with this RBI-triple.
Angels 9, Rangers 6
The scores in Rangers games this year have been nutty and Friday was no different. Shohei Ohtani showed what kind of night it was going to be early, homering on the first pitch of the game.
Jo Adell would add on to the lead with a home run of his own, his second of the season and the longest of the night at 447 feet. The Angels answered back and retook the lead on a two-run double by Charlie Culberson in the fourth.
Then in the fourth, Angels manager Joe Maddon did something we rarely see, intentionally walking Corey Seager with the bases loaded to bring in another run and grow the lead to 4-2.
However, the move did not come back to bite the Angels all that much. The Rangers would bring in two more, but Los Angeles answered back. It was their superstar who led the charge, blasting his second home run of the night.
After scoring three more to take a 7-6 lead, it was Jared Walsh who put a seal on it with a two-run homer in the seventh to make it 9-6. The Angels did not look back from there and took the victory.
Marlins 7, Phillies 1
After an offseason in which the Marlins went fishing for offense, the early returns were not positive. That is until Friday when the Marlins jumped on Zach Eflin and finally broke out the bats. It was Jesús Sánchez who did a lot of the heavy lifting, building on a great performance last night by giving the Marlins a 2-0 lead in the first with this RBI double.
The Marlins got two more in the second thanks to a triple by Jazz Chisholm Jr., who is off to a nice start for Miami this year. Pablo López was really good for Miami, working 5 1/3 scoreless innings and the defense behind him was even better. Check out this tremendous double play by one of the Fish’s big offseason acquisitions, Joey Wendle.
Then it was Sánchez again who really put a stamp on this one. He hit his second triple in as many games to put the Marlins up 5-0, and that was more than enough. Nick Castellanos homered in garbage time to avoid the shutout, and the Marlins cruised to a second-straight victory over Philadelphia.
Mariners 11, Astros 1
The Mariners were clearly really happy to be home. Their offense broke out in a big way, exploding for double-digit runs against the division rival Astros. Leading 1-0 in the fourth, Adam Frazier delivered a two-run triple and that was just the beginning.
Ty France added a two-run dinger in the sixth to make it 6-0 as they dominated the later part of the game. They scored two in the sixth, three in the seventh and two more in the eighth.
Just to really stick a fork in their division foe, Eugenio Suárez launched a two-run homer in the eighth to push them into double digits. The win means Seattle is off to a .500 start a week into the season, a good position to be in.
Giants 4, Guardians 1
The Giants pitching staff is a force of nature. They held yet another team to just one run Friday, this time thanks to another stellar performance from Carlos Rodón. He struck out nine Cleveland hitters in seven innings, upping his tally on the season to 21 strikeouts in just 15 innings while only allowing two runs.
Brandon Crawford got the offense going with a moonshot that felt like it traveled much further than just 396 feet. Then it was Joey Bart—who is off to a great start as he replaces Buster Posey—who provided the big hit to put the win on ice, a two-run homer in the eighth.
Tigers 2, Royals 1
Miguel Cabrera continued his chase for history with a double in the seventh inning. It was the 599th double of his career and 2,995th hit. When he picks up five more hits and one more double, he will become just the third player to have 3,000 hits, 500 home runs and 600 doubles in their career. What an incredible player.
The legendary Tiger set up the franchise’s future, Spencer Torkelson, to win the game with this go-ahead two-run bomb.
Cardinals 10, Brewers 1
Freddie Peralta struggled mightily for the second-straight time to start the year. He allowed four runs in the first inning, capped off by this bases-loaded single from Harrison Bader.
Paul Goldschmidt made matters worse with a two-run double in the very next inning and pushed it to 6-0. Peralta somehow managed to get through three, allowing six runs on seven hits and two walks along the way.
The right-hander has allowed nine runs in just seven innings of work across two starts so far, certainly not the start Milwaukee needed from one of their three star arms. The Cardinals piled on all night, eventually reaching double dights. The Brew Crew are in some serious trouble early.
Braves 5, Padres 2
It was a relatively solid debut in the big leagues for MacKenzie Gore, Just Baseball’s #61 overall prospect. The much-heralded southpaw allowed two runs on three hits in 5 1/3, but managed just two strikeouts. He was welcomed to the show with this absolute blast by Ozzie Albies.
The Padres tied it up, but the Braves used a big eighth inning to retake the lead and did not relent. Adam Duvall came through with the big hit, a go-ahead double that drove in two.
Rockies 6, Cubs 5
The Cubs flew out of the gates, opening up a three-run lead early. Willson Contreras came through with an RBI-double on this great piece of hitting, showing off his power.
However, it got away from Marcus Stroman in the fourth, as the Cubs’ big offseason signing allowed five runs. That was capped off by a three-run homer from Alan Trejo on a pitch you do not want to throw to anybody in the league. The Cubs got a couple back throughout the game, but the Rockies are now 5-2 to start the season.
Orioles 2, Yankees 1
This was an absolute snooze fest and an epic offensive struggle. The game went to extras tied at one, and neither team managed to score in the 10th. After the Orioles loaded the bases with one out in the 11th, Aaron Boone turned to Aroldis Chapman.
The fire-balling lefty struggled last night and was out for redemption. He struck out Cedric Mullins to start it off and set up an epic at-bat with Ramon Urias. Chapman got ahead 0-2, but issued four straight balls and the O’s won on a walk-off walk.
Twins 8, Red Sox 4
The Twinkies led big throughout this one, as they were up 6-1 by the fifth inning. The Sox got a few back on a home run by Raffy Devers, but the Twins added on in the ninth and cruised to victory.
A huge concern emerging from the game was the health of Byron Buxton, who left with an injury. He slid into second on a double and left screaming the field, but the team said it was just left knee soreness. We at Just Baseball certainly all hope that one of the great talents in the game will be okay. To cheer ourselves up, let’s watch Jhoan Duran throw a 98 mph splitter to ring up Trevor Story.
Nationals 7, Pirates 2
Mitch Keller struggled again, allowing four runs on seven hits in just 3 2/3 innings of work. Juan Soto reached base four times, with two singles and two walks. Quite an unexciting game between two unexciting teams. Nelson Cruz is still getting it done at 41, which is always fun to see. He opened the scoring with this RBI single in the first inning and Washington never looked back.
Blue Jays 4, Athletics 1
Toronto’s offense looked happy to be back home as they handled Oakland. Vladdy Jr. showed once again how tremendous his power is with another epic blast. It was his fifth of the season and a week in, I think we can officially anoint him as the league leader in home runs.
White Sox 3, Rays 2
The Rays are just 1-4 since they swept the Orioles to open the season. They were handedly beat by the Athletics last series, and the White Sox took care of business against them Friday. Dylan Cease struck out eight in 5 2/3 innings and save for a two-run sixth, the Rays were held off the board. Jake Burger socked a 430-foot dinger to give the Sox a 2-0 lead and they added again in the fifth to give them just enough cushion to take the win.