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Marty’s musings: opening weekend

MLB is back, with plenty of fun storylines in the first few days, combined with some not-so-much-fun headlines related to COVID and related to the All Star Game.

Chicago White Sox v Los Angeles Angels Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

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 key pitching matchups.

Shohei Ohtani looks good on the mound and at the plate, the Phillies sweep the Braves in a series defined by strong pitching, and the Mets and Nationals have to postpone the start of their year due to COVID.

News & Notes

3 - Runs allowed by Phillies’ pitching in a three-game sweep of the Atlanta Braves. The Phils’ bullpen was their Achilles’ Heel last year, when they blew 13 saves in a shortened season. Both the starters and the relievers pitched great for Philly in the first series of the year. The pen threw 7/13 scoreless innings in this first impressive series.

8/8 - Yermin Mercedes started off his year for the White Sox in style, going 8-for-8 in his first two games. He’s an older rookie, who at 28 years old became the first place since 1900 to not make an out in his first eight at bats.

1 - Home run hit by Shohei Ohtani in the game he started Sunday night against the White Sox. Ohtani is probably auditioning for his pitching career, as he’s yet to be able to showcase his potential on both sides of the ball due to injuries and adjusting from NPB to MLB.

7 - Reported alternate cities given by MLB who pulled the All Star Game from Atlanta due to the passing of a new Jim Crow era voting law passed by the state of Georgia last week. The cities in the running include Milwaukee, Los Angeles (Dodgers’ stadium), Arlington, Chicago (Wigley), New York (Yankee Stadium), Kansas City, and potentially even San Juan, Puerto Rico at Hiram Bithorn.

10 - Year, $340 million deal that the Mets reached with shortstop Francisco Lindor. The deal was reached just days before Opening Day and is a breath of fresh air for a fanbase that has been star-starved for years.

0 - Games played by the Nationals and Mets, who had their season opening series postponed due to a COVID outbreak with the Nationals. The Mets open up against the Phillies on Monday, it’s still unclear as to whether or not the Nats will play against the Braves.

Pitching Matchups to Watch

Monday, April 5th

Jacob deGrom (NYM) v. Matt Moore (PHI), 7:05 ET

The Mets are finally able to take the field on Monday, where they face the Phillies who are coming off an impressive series against Atlanta.

Friday, April 9th

Corey Kluber (NYY) v. Rich Hill (TB), 3:10 ET

The first series against two teams likely vying for the AL East pennant. Two pitchers new to their current teams, veterans Kluber and Hill are high-upside question marks for their respective teams.

TBD (WAS) v. Walker Buehler (LAD), 4:10 ET

The Dodgers will raise the 2020 banner in their home opener on Friday afternoon, as Walker Buhler takes on the 2019 World Series Champ Nationals.

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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