MLB Opening Day 2022 began Thursday and leaked into Friday as every team has now played at least one game. Friday saw nearly every team in action, and games lasted all day. It was an absolutely wild day around the league with action all over the place.
In case you missed anything, here is the highlight reel of the best action from Friday’s full Opening Day.
There were three walk-off hits Friday, including two that took place in extra innings. The first came in the second game of the day in Detroit. After the White Sox led most of the game, the Tigers tied the game in the eighth with a two-run single by Miguel Cabrera off Liam Hendriks.
After Andrew Vaughn launched a go-ahead homer in the ninth, Hendriks returned to the mound and once again struggled to close the door. Eric Haase tied the game with a homer of his own, then Austin Meadows laced a triple to set the Tigers up with the winning run 90 feet away.
With two outs, the newest Tiger, Javier Báez, stepped to the plate. He laced a ball to the wall in right field, thinking it was gone. However, El Mago learned quickly about the dimensions at his new home, the enormous Comerica Park. The ball landed in AJ Pollock’s glove, then popped out and he caught it again.
The play was reviewed and it was determined that the ball hit off the wall and the run should score. In one of the weirdest walk-offs you will ever see, the Tigers took a 5-4 victory from the division rival ChiSox on Opening Day.
The Red Sox and Yankees played another classic on Opening Day. Gerrit Cole got off to a rough start, allowing three runs in the first inning including a bomb to Rafael Devers.
Anthony Rizzo answered right back with an even bigger shot to right center that announced himself as the Yankees first baseman for the foreseeable future.
The game went back-and-forth until it went to extras. After the Sox took a lead in the top of the 10th, Gleyber Torres came off the bench to tie the game with a sac fly. Come the 11th, it was the newest Yankee who came through. Third baseman Josh Donaldson singled up the middle to give the Yankees a joyous win over the arch rival Red Sox on Opening Day.
Giant Heroics By The Bay
After cruising for most of the game, the Giants suddenly found themselves in trouble against the Marlins. Holding a 3-0 lead, Dominick Leone allowed a two-run blast to Miami’s newly acquired catcher, Jacob Stallings.
Then, Brandon Belt—carrying the torch for long-time Giants after Buster Posey’s retirement—launched a homer of his own to open back up a two-run lead.
After the Marlins cut the deficit to one, their breakout candidate Jazz Chisholm Jr. stepped to the plate in a big spot. The Bahamian second baseman took an off-speed pitch the other way to left and sent it over the fence to give Miami the lead. Watch the celebration coming around first base on this one as Jazz shows off the confidence he plays with.
The game was far from over as Thairo Estrada launched a home run in the Giants half of the ninth to send the game to extras. After the Marlins came up empty in the 10th, then forced a double play on a base running error by the Giants, Austin Slater doubled into the left-field corner to bring Darin Ruf around to score. It gave San Francisco a very fun win to start the season as they try and show that 2021 was not a fluke.
And that was just the first three games of the day!
Phillies’ Offense On Full Display
The Phillies signing Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber instantly made them must-watch television.
It also suggested that they were going to have a lot of whacky games, where they have to score a lot of runs to overcome poor defense. That is exactly what happened Friday afternoon.
Schwarber introduced himself to the Philly faithful in epic fashion, leading off the game with a nuke to right.
The Phillies got out to a 6-1 lead against the A’s, before their defense let the Athletics back into it. They made two errors in the seventh inning, allowing four runs in the process to cut the lead to just a run.
Luckily, the offense came through again in the eighth as they plated two big insurance runs to put the game away. It was Castellanos who came through with the big hit to make sure the game did not get away.
Another highlight for the Phils was the debut of top prospect, Bryson Stott. Just Baseball’s 60th ranked prospect started at third base and had two hits in the game. His second one was the final insurance run Philadelphia needed to lock down an 8-5 victory on Opening Day.
Madness In Toronto
It was José Berrios who got the start for the Blue Jays, but he did not last very long. The Rangers jumped all over him, scoring three runs in the first. Texas would load the bases again and Berrios was pulled, managing to get just two outs in the inning.
Then, new Rangers catcher, Mitch Garver, connected on a 447-foot blast to open up a 7-0 lead in just the second inning. It was the longest home run across Friday’s action.
Stunningly, the game was far from over though, as the Blue Jays flexed their own offensive potential.
They slowly chipped away, then Teoscar Hernández completed the comeback with a three-run home run in the fifth. It took just three innings for Toronto to erase what seemed to be an insurmountable deficit.
After the lead changed hands a couple times, Toronto took it for good on this close call at the plate. Lourdes Gurriel doubled and it brought Hernández around. Initially, he was called out on the field but the play was overturned and it gave the Jays a 9-8 lead.
The Jays would add on again thanks to a Danny Jansen homer, and closed out a 10-8 lead. The favorites in the AL clearly have an offense that is going to make all kinds of noise in 2022. Blue Jays fans in the Rogers Centre are going to make a whole lot of noise as well.
Manea No-No Cut Short
Sean Manea went seven no-hit innings in his Padres debut, but was pulled before the eighth with 88 pitches. No injury for the former Athletic, simply just not wanting to push a guy too long on Opening Day. Naturally, the Padres immediately gave up a hit to the first batter after Manea was replaced.
Jurickson Profar provided an unlikely power source with a two-run homer that put the Padres ahead in the sixth. That was all they needed as they sailed to a 3-0 victory behind Manea’s dominance.
On the defensive side, star shortstop prospect, CJ Abrams, made a tremendous play to announce himself in the show.
Sparks Fly In The Capital
The Mets and Nationals matchup saw our first bench clearing of the season. After Francisco Lindor was hit on his chin guard, the Mets new manager, Buck Showatler, was not happy. He emerged from the dugout which led to both teams taking to the field. Thankfully, ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported that x-rays came back negative on Lindor.
That was about as interesting as it got. The Mets cruised to a victory as they showed their offensive potential. Robinson Cano returned from his suspension last season with a two-RBI single that gave the Mets the lead.
LA Dodges Opening Day Letdown
The Dodgers used a big fourth inning to get past the Rockies in Coors Field. After the Rockies took a 2-0 lead in the second inning, LA scored all five of their runs in the fourth and did not look back. The go-ahead hit came via their star, Mookie Betts, with a double into the left-field corner that score Gavin Lux from first base.
One of the biggest surprises of the offseason was Kris Bryant signing with Colorado. In his debut for the purple and black, KB launched a double to center field that showed off how much fun he will have in Coors Field.
Gary Nearly Does It
We almost had a fourth walk-off in Minnesota. New Twins catcher, Gary Sánchez, came to the plate with two outs and a runner on in the ninth. Trailing 2-1, the former Yankee had a chance to be the hero in his first game with the Twinkies. He came so close to the dramatic debut, but Seattle left fielder Jesse Winker caught it at the wall. Sound up for this one.
Rays Outlast O’s Behind McClanahan
Tampa Bay’s stud starting pitcher, Shane McClanahan, pitched 4.1 shutout innings, allowing just four hits and two walks while striking out seven. Their burgeoning superstar, Wander Franco, collected three hits, but they managed to score just two runs. It was all they needed though because of McClanahan’s dominance. Here is just a little taste of the fireballer’s exceptional arsenal.
Kenley Escapes Disaster In Braves Debut
The Braves were cruising all night against the Reds, going ahead 7-0 by the third. The Reds cut the lead to four in the sixth, but for a while that was as close as they got.
With a four-run lead in the ninth, legendary closer, Kenley Jansen, emerged to finish his first game in a non-Dodgers uniform. Jansen proceeded to allow three runs on three hits and a walk and let the tying run get into scoring position.
Luckily, he got Jonathan India to fly out to escape an embarrassing debut with his new team.
Moment Of The Night In Anaheim
The Astros used the long ball to take a victory from the Angels. José Altuve, Aledmys Díaz and Alex Bregman all hit homers to help Houston open up a 4-2 lead. However, nothing topped what rookie shortstop Jeremy Peña did, launching a 423-foot tank while his parents were being interviewed on television. It is one of those awesome baseball moments you have to see. Kyle Tucker helped the Astros pour it on and win 12-2.
All 30 teams are scheduled to be in action for the first time Saturday. Games will begin with an AL East matchup between the Rays and Orioles and an AL Central matchup between the White Sox and Tigers. Both games are scheduled to begin at 1:10 p.m. EST.