The Marlins won their home opener last night! Check out their Facebook live video of the pregame ceremonies and lineup introductions if you weren’t excited enough already.
More importantly, the team showed that spring stats don’t matter by starting the season 1-0 on days I write this column. (They were 1-4 during the spring.) Marcell Ozuna had a career night with two homers and six RBI (one shy of the club record), and Christian Yelich went 3-for-4 with three runs scored and an RBI. J.T. Riddle made his major league debut, but went 0-for-4 at the plate.
Dan Straily had what I will henceforth call a “Marlins Quality Start”: going five innings, giving up three runs (only two earned) and turning it over to the bullpen, who held the Braves to just one run after that. If the starters can pitch like that all year, this team is going to be in the hunt this season. Final score: 8-4.
Commemorating 20 years since the 1997 team won the World Series, Edgar Renteria, Charles Johnson, and Livan Hernandez, three of the key members of that team, threw out the first pitch together. The team also had a pre-game moment of silence to remember Jose Fernandez, which included a message from his mother. After the game, Ozuna said he would always play for Jose.
You may have your rally squirrel, St. Louis, and a rally monkey is oh-so-appropriate for L.A., but the Marlins now have their own rally-instigating animal: the Rally Cat! Perhaps it should really be dubbed the Bullpen or Shutdown Cat, since it appeared in the sixth inning in the midst of a potential Braves rally, which subsequently ended after the cat heroically climbed up the centerfield fence and onto the homerun structure.
Even though Ozuna is not a big fan of felines, he and other Marlins welcomed the cat’s newfound role with the team. And despite appearing scared and confused, the cat apparently opened its own Twitter account to plead for help. Perhaps the cat will have to change its Twitter however, as the most important thing you will ever vote for in your life is now up for debate.
If you’re wondering how the sale of the team is going, team president David Samson said that talks have progressed to the “fourth inning”, after never having never gotten past the second before. He also said he wouldn’t be shocked if the team were sold by the end of this year. While Derek Jeter has been mentioned as a prospective buyer, Yahoo!’s Jeff Passan wonders whether the Marlins financial situation is too murky.
Around the League
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s get to some highlights: the Mets’ Yoenis Cespedes hit three home runs in a win, but Matt Harvey left with a tight hamstring. Mike Trout did Mike Trout things, and then the Angels walked it off against the Rangers. The Indians also walked-off in their home opener. A.J. Pollock made a nice grab, too.
You don’t want to play shortstop for the Nationals right now, unless you don’t mind injuring your hamstring. Days after Trea Turner exited a game with an injury to the most problematic of leg muscles, his replacement Stephen Drew did the same. Be careful out there, Wilmer Difo.
If you prefer to spend your Fourth of July at the ballpark (as I do), check out the holiday-themed uniforms MLB just released.