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Marty’s musings: Opening Day edition

Opening week gave us the retirement of a legend, and many, many home runs.

MLB: Seattle Mariners at Oakland Athletics Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to ‘Marty’s Musings’, my weekly column of numbers summarizing the happenings in the baseball world. I am your guide for taking an analytic look at the news and notes throughout the game, and highlighting this week’s key pitching matchups.

Last week all 30 teams opened their seasons. We take a look at Ichiro’s farewell, the Red Sox pitching woes, the large amount of home runs yielded on Opening Day, and we look ahead to some of the marquis matchups coming up this week.

All this news and more in this week’s Musings.

News and Notes

3089 - Total Major League hits for Ichiro Suzuki, who after over 2600 games decided to retire. It places him 23rd on the all-time hits list (he’ll end up in 24th after the year because Albert Pujols is right behind him). Last week, in-game, it was announced that Ichiro would retire after the Japan series between the A’s and Mariners. A nice career was capped-off with Ichiro in a Mariners uniform, celebrating a fantastic career in his home country of Japan. What a way to go!

30 - Consecutive starts in which Jacob deGrom had yielded three runs of fewer. His streak of excellence continued on Opening Day, where he led the Mets to victory via a six-inning shutout performance in which he struck out ten and walked only one.

6/8/15 - The last time the Padres were above .500 prior to last week’s Opening Day victory over the Giants. San Diego looks to be one of the more exciting teams to watch, with new addition Manny Machado and rookie Fernando Tatis Jr. manning the left side of the infield.

48 - Opening Day home runs, a new MLB record. The more things change, the more they stay the same, but overall, it was a home-run happy opening to the season.

4 - Home runs in four games for Brewers outfielders Christian Yelich. Yelich is off to a red-hot start, he is 6-for-12, with four dingers in the first weekend of play.

465 - Feet, the distance of Bryce Harper’s first home run in a Phillies’ uniform. The mammoth 114 miles per hour exiting hit peaked at 102 feet, and was a welcome addition to Opening Day, and he followed up the performance with another homer in game two. Philadelphia swept Atlanta at home in the three-game weekend set.

3 - Home runs hit by Paul Goldschmidt in his second game in a Cardinals uniform. He led St. Louis to a 9-5 victory over the Brewers on Friday.

34 - Runs the Mariners scored in four games against the reigning Champion Red Sox. All four of Boston’s starters were terrible in their debuts, with Chris Sale yielding seven runs in three innings, Nathan Eovaldi giving up six runs in five innings (the only game the Red Sox won), Eduardo Rodriguez gave up five runs in 4 ⅓ innings, and Rick Porcello giving up four runs and not even being able to get out of the third inning.

Matchups to Watch

Tuesday, April 2

Chris Sale (BOS) v. Mike Fiers (OAK), 10:10 ET

Sale was uncharacteristically bad in his 2019 debut against Seattle last week, and is looking for a bounce-back for a rotation that has yet to get one decent performance.

Wednesday, April 3

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Trevor Richards (MIA), 6:10 ET

deGrom on the mound is becoming must-watch baseball regardless of who the opponent. While the Marlins have little to get excited about, it will be fun to see what the reigning NL Cy Young winner can do to their lineup.

Thursday, April 4

Stephen Strasburg (WAS) v. Noah Syndergaard (NYM), 1:10 ET

The Mets home opening pits them against the Nationals again, with a solid matchup on Thursday afternoon. Thor faced the Nats last week, where despite a 7:0 strikeout:walk ratio, he gave up four runs in the loss.

*All pitching matchups as of Sunday night’s pitching probables


Steven Martano is an Editor at Beyond the Box Score, a Contributing Prospect Writer for the Colorado Rockies at Purple Row, and a contributing writer for The Hardball Times. You can follow him on Twitter at @SMartano