Stats through Friday’s games:
1. Houston: Astros pitcher Justin Verlander shows off his World Series ring at Rockets game. Not sure how many fans noticed with wife Kate Upton seated next to him.
2. Arizona: D-backs start Patrick Corbin on Opening Day, even though the four other returning starters all had ERAs last year under 4.00, unlike Corbin. He fans eight on opening night and 12 Dodgers in his next start, a 7.1-inning one-hitter. He leads MLB with 20 strikeouts; last year he fanned four in his first two starts.
3. Boston: David Price starts the season with 14 shutout innings against the Rays, his first team. Price might be a threat to break Orel Hershiser’s consecutive scoreless innings streak — if he pitches against no one but the Rays. Going back to last year, Price has thrown 22.2 consecutive scoreless innings.
4. Cleveland: Indians fan Edward Lachowski was to attend his 64th consecutive home opener Friday. The streak, according to cleveland.com, started in 1955, the year after the 111-win Indians were swept in the World Series by the New York Giants. Lachowski, who was 13, said he took his Giants baseball cards, ripped them up and threw them out. That’s principle. Though it’s fair to wonder how much that Willie Mays card might be worth today if it was in better condition.
5. Chicago Cubs: Ian Happ hits first pitch of 2018 season for a home run, is 3-for-22 since with NL-high 14 strikeouts — with four of the seven games against the Marlins. Wait until he faces major-league pitching.
6. N.Y. Yankees: Giancarlo Stanton fans five times in Yankees home opener and is booed by fans of a team which has won 27 World Series titles. We’ve seen it all. Philadelphia is the city of champions, New York the city of boobirds.
7. Washington: Ryan Zimmerman had two at-bats in spring training, spending most of it in minor league games on back fields, then started season 3-for-22 mostly hitting behind Bryce Harper, who’s been walked 10 times in seven games. Zimmerman: “I’d rather not talk about that whole thing anymore. You can write about it if you want, but it is what it is. I mean, my body feels great. I think that was the ultimate goal. Ask me on May 1 how I feel.” If he didn’t want to talk about it, maybe he shouldn’t have prepared that way. And the ultimate goal was to have a season like the last one. See you on May 1.
8. L.A. Dodgers: Kenley Jansen throws a game-tying homer to Arizona’s Chris Owings, who hit 28 in his first five seasons, and D-backs go on to win in 15. Jansen: “He just got me. Who cares? Who cares? It’s one game.” Since that was the second homer Jansen threw in the first week, and he didn’t throw his second until July 4 last year, and his velocity on his cutter is down three mph, the Dodgers might care.
9. L.A. Angels: Shohei Ohtani’s first home run is caught by an Indians fan, 33-year-old Chris Incorvaia, according to ocregister.com, who gave the ball to Matthew Gutierrez, 9. “He’s an Angels fan; I’m an Indians fan; I knew he would appreciate it a lot more,” said Incorvaia. They don’t make Indians fans like they used to. Mr. Lachowski would have probably thrown the ball back. Everyone — Incorvaia, Gutierrez and his father — met Ohtani after the game.
10. N.Y. Mets: Tim Tebow homers on the first pitch he sees of the Class AA season. Don’t get excited. He homered in his first game of 2017 and only hit seven more, batting .226 with a .656 OPS. Expect an Ian Happ-like follow-up.
11. Minnesota: Three days after Twins second baseman Brian Dozier scolds Orioles rookie Chance Sisco for a bunt hit against the shift down 7-0 in the ninth, Dozier steals second with a four-run lead in the ninth. There ought to be a rule.
12. Milwaukee: Brewers start with injuries to major trade acquisition Christian Yelich and closer Corey Knebel pitching mop-up in an 8-0 game, and three losses in five games to NL Central rivals Cards and Cubs. Yes, first eight days could have gone better.
13. Atlanta: Your first-week leader in runs scored — the Braves with 56, in only seven games (second-place Angels have scored 51 in eight). Because Ryan Flaherty, released by the Phillies before the end of spring training, will hit .400 and slug .560 all season.
14. Toronto: Kevin Pillar has three steals — all in the same inning. Pillar singled against the Yankees last Saturday, stole second with Luke Maile batting, stole third with Gift Ngoepe batting and then stole home on the next pitch with Ngoepe batting. It was no double steal — he headed for home and forced a panicked pitch from Delin Betances, who’s not known for his control. According to Statcast, Pillar had a lead of 50 feet, and of the four players who’ve taken leads that big since the stat has been kept, three stole successfully. No mention of the fourth and how he get caught; must have been a Molina.
15. St. Louis: Bob Gibson throws out the first pitch at classy Cardinals’ home opener’ 50 years after his 1.12 ERA season. Shouldn’t there have been a batter hugging the inside corner for him to knock down with it?
16. Pittsburgh: Pirates usher Phil Coyne, 99 years young and a veteran of 81 seasons and three stadiums, won’t be back. Coyne started in 1936, when Hall of Famer Paul Waner hit .373 and Hall of Famer Pie Traynor managed the team to 84 wins. This might not be the time to quit. The Pirates, winners of six of their first seven, might finally be getting good.
17. Colorado: Denver paper’s Living section presents a guide to Coors Field for Opening Day, complete with a picture of Phillies’ Citizens Bank Park. This faux pas might have happened to anyone, though the word Phillies on top of the scoreboard in the picture might have been a giveaway. Rockies pitchers probably would be happy were it so.
18. Seattle: Bald eagle tries to land on Mariners pitcher James Paxton during Twins opening-game ceremonies. Mariners manager Scott Servais: “I think Felix (Hernandez) would have probably ran away screaming.” Mariners might consider using the eagle to put a few MPH back on Hernandez’s fastball.
19. Texas: Adrian Beltre becomes all-time Latin American hit leader with No. 3,054, passing Rod Carew. There’s no telling how high Roberto Clemente would have put the record — he was 38 when he died and coming off four straight .300 seasons and 12 in 13 years (the only exception was a .291 in 1968, the year of the pitcher). But it’s possible Beltre would have topped it no matter how high Clemente put it — Beltre turns 39 today with a .303 average, coming off two straight .300 seasons and signed for next year.
20. Baltimore: In his first 27 at-bats, free agent-to-be Manny Machado had one extra-base hit; he homered twice and singled twice in his next five at-bats vs. the Yankees Friday. Perhaps he considered it an audition.
21. San Francisco: Joaquin Andujar youneverknow department: Gorkys Hernandez, who didn’t homer in 348 plate appearances last year, homers in his third of 2018. His career high, for future reference, is three.
22. Chicago White Sox: Tim Anderson walked on Opening Day, twice more on Thursday. That’s three walks in 26 plate appearances. Anderson, who’s walked 13 times in each of his first two seasons, didn’t get his first walk last year until his 38th plate appearance, and his third walk until his 96th plate appearance.
23. Philadelphia: Lefty Nick Williams sits for home opener against Marlins lefty Caleb Smith, then says, “I guess the computers are making (the lineup), I don’t know. I don’t get any of it, but what can I do? I’m not going to complain about it … .” Yo, Nick, you just did. And maybe the computer saw your 1-for-11, 4-strikeout start.
24. Detroit: Daniel Norris fans 6 in 3.1 innings on Thursday, helping Tigers to 9-7 win against White Sox, and is sent to minors so Mike Fiers can start on Saturday. “We need starters in this organization,” said manager Ron Gardenhire. He’s right. That doesn’t explain Fiers, or Norris’ demotion. Norris threw 49 pitches in his relief outing; that’s about enough to start for Phillies manager Gabe Kapler, who pulled his Opening Day starter after 68.
25. Oakland: Outfelder Trayce Thompson goes coast to to coast and back in two-day period. Designated for assignment by Dodgers, he’s claimed by Yankees, waived by Yankees and claimed by A’s. At least in the Bay Area he won’t lack for a place to stay. He’s the brother of NBA Warriors star Klay Thompson.
26. San Diego: Padres Opening Day-starter Clayton Richard gives up five runs in five innings to Rockies at San Diego, which doesn’t bode well for a fast start to 2018. Two of his next three starts are also against the Rockies — at Coors Field.
27. Kansas City: Royals designated pitcher Miguel Almonte to claim outfielder Abraham Almonte, who was designated by Indians. Miguel was dealt to the Angels, presumably for an Almonte to be named later.
28. Tampa Bay: Rays decree every fifth day a bullpen day. What do they call it when Blake Snell throws 90 pitches and gets 10 outs? Efficiency day?
29. Cincinnati: Yovani Gallardo signs with Reds, says he’s “comfortable in this ballpark.” His comfort is nothing compared to how relaxed opposing hitters will be — Gallardo has a 5.57 ERA over the last two seasons and started the Reds part of his career by giving up eight runs to get four outs over two outings. His ERA is a disturbing 54.00.
30. Miami: Marlins outfielder Cameron Maybin: “I think we could end up having a lot of fun this year.” Sure. If 100-loss seasons don’t lift your spirits, what will?