Monday, April 6, 2009

Opening Day

The Twins opened the Metrodome on April 6, 1982 with an 11-7 loss to the Seattle Mariners in route to a franchise-worst 60-102 record. Exctly 27 years later, the Twins began their 2009 campaign with a 6-1 loss to the Seattle Mariners. Here's hoping this year's squad fares better than the '82 Twins (my first Twins team as a fan, in case you're interested).

Starter Francisco Liriano was ok. He walked nobody and allowed four hits in 7 innings. However, two of those hits left the yard, via Franklin Gutierrez and Ken Griffey, Jr. The bullpen sucked in the ninth, walking two batters and allowing both to score (Crain, Breslow, and Guerrier). Seattle's Felix Hernandez was dominant over 8 innings, allowing 5 hits and just 1 run, while striking out 6.

It's just one game, but it's always nicer to start the season off with a win. For kicks, the following details prominent Twins' seasons and how they fared in their opener (HT to
  • 1965 (Won AL Pennant) - Win (Twins 5, Yankees 4 - 11 Innings)
  • 1969 (Won AL West Division) - Loss (Kansas City 4, Twins 3 - 12 Innings)
  • 1970 (Won AL West Division) - Win (Twins 12, White Sox 0)
  • 1987 (Won World Series) - Win (Twins 5, Oakland 4 - 10 Innings)
  • 1991 (Won World Series) - Loss (Oakland 7, Twins 2)
  • 2002 (Won AL Central Division) - Win (Twins 8, Kansas City 6)
  • 2003 (Won AL Central Division) - Win (Twins 3, Detroit 1)
  • 2004 (Won AL Central Division) - Win (Twins 7, Cleveland 4 - 11 Innings)
  • 2006 (Won AL Central Division) - Loss (Toronto 6, Twins 3)
The only bright spot for the Twins is that they played the game in their sharp 1982 throwback uniforms they'll be sporting for Saturday evening home games throughout the season. Here's hoping they ditch the pinstripes and keep these as the permanent home unis for the first season at Target Field.

Elsewhere in the AL Central:
  • Texas 9, Cleveland 1 - Cliff Lee went 22-3 in 2008 in route to the AL Cy Young Award. He was hammered in this one, as the Rangers touched him up for 7 runs and 10 hits in 5 innings. Hank Blalock and Jarrod Saltalamacchia went yard for Texas, as the Rangers christened 2009 in their horrible red alternate uniforms with a victory.
  • Toronto 12, Detroit 5 - The Tigers started out 0-7 in 2008 and 2009 started out on a down note as well, as Justin Verlander was rocked for 8 runs in 3.2 innings. Detroit rallied from a 9-1 deficit to cut it to 9-5 before former Twins' whipping-boy Juan Rincon gave up 3 in the 8th inning.
  • Kansas City and the Chicago White Sox were weathered out at Comiskey Park II, and will be re-scheduled for Tuesday afternoon.

Other experts' views on this opening day:

  • Aaron Gleeman - His giddiness of opening day shows, plus his Twins predictions
  • Seth Stohs - Helpful overview of Twins minor league affiliates' rosters
  • Joe Posnanski (KC Star) - Great piece on Zack Greinke

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