These were the 14 coolest moments from Opening Day of the 2017 MLB season
What is that strange feeling in the air? No, it's not the rising pollen count, it's excitement! Baseball is back, which means that joy has finally returned to our lives. On Sunday,
Opening Night and Day were packed with games (you can catch all the action on MLB.TV all season long), and to make sure you didn't miss anything, we highlighted the coolest moments from the first two days of the season.
In the bottom of the sixth inning of the Nationals' 4-2 win over the Marlins, Bryce Harper pounced on a
Meanwhile, hours later in Oakland, Mike Trout connected on a
2. The Rangers play in the AL West, but were host to Home Run Central
In the bottom of the third, he would do it again.
Of course, in between those two,
But there were more homers in the Rangers' eventual 8-5 win -- including a booming blast by the team's new slugger,
Encarnacion's trusty parrot made its first appearance of the season as he rounded the bases, of course:
Cleveland's star second baseman is on the 10-day disabled list to start the season, so he wasn't with the club on Monday. Instead, Kipnis spent his 30th birthday in Arizona, taking in the NCAA title game eventually won by North Carolina -- while simultaneously watching the Indians' win on his mobile device, via the At Bat app:
4. The first grand slam of the year
Pederson's blast was exemplary of the Dodgers' afternoon, as they beat the Padres, 14-3.
Since Statcast™ unveiled the new catch probability system over the offseason, we've been waiting to see our first 5-star catch (meaning between a zero and 25 percent chance of making the play). Thanks to Byron Buxton's effort in the Twins' 7-1 win over the Royals, we don't have to wait any longer.
Buxton closed in the 36-foot gap on
6. The O's used their full range of abilities
The Orioles persevered, 3-2, in 11 innings on Monday to defeat the Blue Jays at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the win was punctuated by two plays that are pretty exemplary of the Orioles as a team. First, witness this oh-wait-what-how-did-he-do-this effort from
A few minutes later,
Joey Bats is known for, well, his bat. But he'll come up with the glove when needed. With a runner on first and the score tied at 2 in the top of the ninth, Bautista made a diving catch on
In the bottom of the sixth of Monday's 7-5 Rockies win over the Brewers,
The Astros faced off against King Felix and the Mariners in their home opener Monday night looking to start the season off with a bang -- and they did just that, thanks to this effort from their high-energy outfielder George Springer:
Not to be outdone, Springer's teammate
Houston won the ballgame, 3-0, on the strength of those moonshots as well as seven shutout innings from ace
In 122 career plate appearances entering today, the Phillies starter had no triples. That all changed when the Reds'
Sure, home runs may be more impressive, but you can't deny that this is more fun.
Thor spent the offseason getting stronger to somehow throw even harder. He showed that off with the very first batter he faced in 2017. Against the Braves'
"Unfair" is a good word to describe Syndergaard's outing, as he and the Mets won the game, 6-0, in convincing fashion.
Not wanting to fall too far behind Bumgarner in the #PitchersWhoRake category, Syndergaard did his best, but came away with a measly single in the bottom of the fifth.
It was also a 3-star catch as graded by Statcast™, meaning it's caught between 51-and-75 percent of the time. (Or, it's missed between 25-and-49 percent of the time.)
In the bottom of the fifth, Bradley hit a long fly to deep right. Though it didn't go out, he wound up with a triple.
Thanks to efforts like these, not to mention a big three-run homer from
The Cardinals turned to 25-year-old right-hander Carlos Martinez for their season opener against the Cubs at Busch Stadium on Sunday night, and he had quite a night. Before beginning the evening, Martinez took some time out to honor two of his fallen friends, the late Oscar Taveras and Yordano Ventura, who tragically passed away in January.
Martinez went 7 1/3 innings, striking out 10, allowing six hits and no runs.
During Sunday's Giants-D-backs game, Bumgarner hit a home run before ever allowing a baserunner. Oh, and it was also knocked out at 112.5 mph. That's the hardest-hit home run by a pitcher in the Statcast™ era:
Even better, he did it again a few innings later with a 422-foot blast. Unfortunately, he didn't set a record this time. This was a measly 112.1 mph.
It was so good, we even got a wink out of the hurler:
But even though Bumgarner pitched seven innings and struck out 11, the D-backs still managed to rally in the ninth. They won 6-5, on the first walk-off of the year.