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The Wild Ride of MLB Opening Weekend

A wild ride!

 

The 2018 Major League Baseball season is sequentially underway. With it,  there has already been a slew of wild happenings. Let’s take a look at what the first few days of this new season have brought us.

Pace of play haters unite

This past off-season there was a substantial population in favor of figuring out the best way to speed baseball along. Some initiatives were put in place, including a pitch clock as well as the limiting of mound visits per game, and what that constitutes. Mound visits, for example, are limited to six per team per nine innings. Between-inning breaks are also apparently a thing

Unfortunately, for the pace of play pioneers, baseball is still a natural, free-flowing sport. It was made apparent on Opening Day as fans saw three games go into extra-innings. The next day, the Detroit Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates battled to 13 innings before the Pirates were ultimately victorious. It was followed by a marathon 17-inning game between the Chicago Cubs and Miami Marlins which ended in a Marlins victory.

Today, on the third day of the season, the Cubs and Marlins once again went extra-innings (10). It will be interesting as the season moves along to see the reaction of the pace of play truthers and how much they wish to continue to push their anti-free flow agenda for baseball.

Some unlikely heroes

Nick Markakis and Brian Anderson are the two names who come to mind when thinking about the obscure. Markakis, after the Atlanta Braves, completed a five-run comeback, launched a three-run home run in a 5-5 tie, gave the Braves the surprising walk-off win. Markakis has been in the league for 13-years, and this was the first time in his career he has ended the game on his terms.

Brian Anderson, meanwhile, played in twenty-five games for the Miami Marlins in 2017. This year, through the first three games of the new campaign, Anderson is batting .333 with a pair of RBI’s. Anderson is not known by many, so it will be fun to follow his progression.

Eddie Butler of the Chicago Cubs is another guy who seemingly comes to mind as well. Butler, in the 17-inning marathon between the Cubs and Marlins, came in in relief and pitched 7-innings. Butler surrendered only one earned run and struck out five. A guy who has struggled mightily throughout the first part of his career, Butler could find himself as the new “Monty” out of the Cubs bullpen.

Teams off to rare hot starts

Yes, it is opening weekend. Yes, there are 160 more games to play for some teams. It is intriguing, however, to see individual teams off to hot starts.

After a victory today against the St. Louis Cardinals, the New York Mets are 2-0. The Chicago White Sox have also taken the first two of the opening series in Kansas City, versus the Royals, moving the Sox to 2-0 as well. The Milwaukee Brewers are also off to a hot start. This one may be less interesting, mainly because of how the Brewers completely revamped their outfield this past off-season with the additions of Lorenzo Cain and Christian Yelich, but the team is still off to a rousing start at the hands of the winless San Diego Padres.

Naturally, these starts are not sustainable, but it will be fun to keep an eye on these teams, especially since the Southsiders from Chicago are projected by some as a dark horse wild card team this season.

As the season continues to bring all that it does every single year, and then some, continue keeping an eye out for the obscure and unique.

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