MLB Overnight: Pastime, on time

The baseball season is long. And we’re here to help: MLB Overnight covers the interesting night-in, night-out goings-on of The Show.

The foul lines have been drawn, the stands are full, the first 40 seconds of “Paradise City” is playing on a loop, and Opening Day is in the books. It’s still a little chilly in some places, but welcome back baseball. You’re right on time.

Opening Day Oddities

One of the best things about Opening Day is that it’s a microcosm of baseball’s affinity for quirky qualified stats. Opening Day has its own records, streaks, and absurd forecasts that are notable because of the day’s place on the baseball calendar. A few events of note from yesterday’s action:

That list is a nice mix of great performances in specific scenarios, longevity, timing, and history. Mostly, it’s a list of fun, something Opening Day is always setting records for.

Pinstripe Power

I think Giancarlo Stanton’s debut was just as likely as it was unlikely. The reigning NL MVP, batting third in the DH role for his new team, the Yankees, opened up his Bronx career with a sizzling 3-5, two home run, four RBI strength show. 860 feet of distance through the Rogers Centre air sounds about right for Stanton, who hit behind 2017 AL Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge and drove him in once.

Houston’s Gallo Shift

In the first inning of the Rangers’ loss to the Astros, Texas’s Joey Gallo flew out to Houston’s third basemen Alex Bregman. Who was playing down the line in left field.

Houston pulled out the four-man outfield against Gallo—he of the 54.2% flyball rate last season—because the Astros study their percentages. Jose Altuve was also in shallow-right, so if you want to get technical about fielder placements, Gallo hit against a five-man outfield to start the season. Gallo played the part his numbers write for him: He flew out three times and struck out once (he had a 36.8% strikeout rate last season).

Ohtani Watch: Episode One

Shohei Ohtani comes to the MLB with immense hype. His two-way potential, wrapped in the mystery of a legend concealed by the distance of an ocean, is a deservedly compelling story. Ohtani makes his pitching debut this weekend, but he made his MLB debut as the DH for the Angels on Opening Day. He went 1-5, slapping a single in his first at-bat.

Walk-offs and Extras

The Braves opened their season with a five-run rally from the sixth inning on against the Phillies, capped by Nick Markakis’s walk-off three-run home run off Philadelphia closer Hector Neris:

It was Markakis’s first career walk-off, and the first Opening Day walk-off home run for the Atlanta version of the Braves.

Meanwhile, Adam Jones smoked a game-winner for the Orioles in extras against the Twins:

Marcus Semien won it for the A’s in extras against the Angels on a walk-off single, while Orlando Arcia got the Brewers started with a win via a 12th inning RBI single in San Diego against the Padres.

Rusty Staub 1944-2018

Rusty Staub RIP
Mike Stobe/Getty Images North America via Zimbio

Khurram Kalim is a senior writer for Bronx to Bushville.


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