Yu Darvish was the story around the leagye on Tuesday night. Darvish was just one out shy of a perfect game in Houston, but a single up the middle by Marwin Gonzalez ruined Darvish's dream of history. So close, yet so far...I'm sure this won't be the first time Darvish flirts with history this year.
PIC OF THE DAY
Yu Darvish tips his cap to the ground as he exits the field following Gonzalez's ninth inning single.
Game of the Day: Orioles 7, Rays 4. There weren't many great games on Tuesday, so this one gets the nod by default. Batltimore jumped out to a 2-0 first inning lead on David Price following a two-run homer by Matt Wieters, but the Rays fought back against Jason Hammel, cutting the deficit to 2-1 after a fourth inning solo homer from Ben Zobrist and taking a 3-2 lead following a pair in the sixth. Evan Longoria's glove did a lot to keep Tampa Bay in the game, but there was nothing he could do in the seventh, when the Orioles plated five runs against Jake McGee thanks to a two-run double from Adam Jones and a three-run homer by Chris Davis. Baltimore's bullpen allowed just one unearned run in three innings in relief of Hammel to preserve the win.
Pitching Lines of the Night: Yu Darvish was obviously spectactular, but just how good was he? He allowed one hit in 8 2/3 innings, struck out a career-high 14, and only allowed one ball to leave the infield prior to Gonzalez's ninth inning single in the Rangers' 7-0 win over the Astros. That's just...not right. It's a shame too, because Madison Bumgarner was pretty damn good for the Giants, throwing eight shutout innings while allowing two hits and striking out six without a walk in San Francisco's 3-0 win over the Dodgers. In Seattle's 7-1 win over Oakland, Hisashi Iwakuma dominated the A's, allowing one run on two hits in six innings (courtesy of a massive Yoenis Cespedes homers), striking out seven without a walk.
Hitting Lines of the Night: Michael Morse paced the Seattle offense, going 2/4 with two homers and four RBI in their win over Oakland, while Kyle Seager went 3/3 with two runs, an RBI, two walks, and two doubles. Matt Wieters had a pretty complete game for the Orioles in their season opening win in Tampa Bay, going 2/3 with two runs, two RBI, two walks, a double, and a homer. Wieters' teammate Adam Jones went 3/5 with two runs, two RBI, and two doubles. Fresh off of his contract extension, Elvis Andrus gave Darvish all the support he neeeded offensively, going 3/4 with a run, an RBI, a walk, and a triple, and Ian Kinsler went 2/4 with two runs, two RBI, a walk, and a homer.
Other Games: The Rockies beat the Brewers 8-4, and the Tulowitzki/Gonzalez duo homered for the second straight game. Justin Masterson and the Indians stymied RA Dickey and the Blue Jays, winning 4-1. The Cardinals scored five late runs en route to a 6-1 win over the Diamondbacks, but the real story was a fan letting his girlfriend get hit in the face with a home run.
What You Missed: Phillies catcher Erik Kratz is shilling turkey bacon, and their AA team will have live ostrich mascots this year. Robinson Cano has fired Scott Boras, and replaced him with...Jay-Z?! Finally, in Ian Casselberry's TOC debut, he looked at Bryce Harper and his potential as an MVP candidate this year.
Today's Games: For the first time all year, all 30 teams will be playing. Unfortunately, there are only three day games, with the Ervin Santana-JAke Peavy duel in Chicago being the best of the three, though Anibal Sanchez does start for the Tigers in Minnesota. Roy Halladay makes his awaited season debut in Atlanta, and all eyes will be on his velocity. Gio Gonzalez starts for the Nationals against the Marlins. Edwin Jackson takes on Wandy Rodriguez in Pittsburg, which could be a sneaky good matchup. Clay Buchholz and Hiroki Kuroda will go at it in the Bronx, and hopefully the game doesn't take four hours this time. Matt Harvey starts for the Mets against the Padres. Ubaldo Jimenez takes on Brandon Morrow in Toronto. Brandon McCarthy makes his NL debut against the Cardinals. Tim Lincecum starts for the Giants in LA against Josh Beckett.
Enjoy your day of baseball, everyone.