Saturday, November 15, 2008

Opening Day for the Champs (and half the league)

16 teams have already opened their seasons. Tonight the rest of the league got underway.

National League

In New Orleans, the defending champion Houston Riverdogs dropped a 7-6 decision to the Voodoo to start the season. Aces Stephen Tucker (Houston) and Carlos Matos (New Orleans) started; neither was very effective. The battle of the bullpens went to the 10th, when pinch-hitter Morgan Cain hit a solo shot off Houston reliever Matt Skinner to send the New Orleans crowd home happy.

In Philadelphia, two of the NL's best starters locked up in a pitcher's duel as the Phantom's Bernard Robinson went toe-to-toe with Fargo's superstar pitcher Javier Henriquez. The offense gave Henriquez a 3-1 lead, but the vaunted Fargo bullpen couldn't hold it, and the Dirtbags dropped a 4-3 decision. This one was also decided in the 10th, when Philadelphia RF Anthony Spencer doubled home 3B Juan Rodriguez.

Norfolk had an easier time than the aforementioned defending division champs, pounding out a 12-2 decision over Washington. Babe Broadhurts went 7 strong innings, allowing only 1 run on 4 hits and a walk. Justin Gordon was the hitting star, going 3 for 5 with 2 HRs and 4 RBIs.

In Cheyenne, Salem Sacrifices ace Dave Dunwoody was excellent, while Nation ace Kane Grahe was not. The Salem offense touched Grahe up for 7 runs in 6 innings and cruised to a 9-3 decision. Dunwoody pitched 7 scoreless innings, yielding only 2 hits and 2 walks to the Nation.

American League

The defending American League champs, like the National League champs, find themselves at 0-1 after opening night. They dropped a 3-2 game to the Blue Cheese up in Buffalo. James Morton got the ball on Opening Night and went 8 innings, but was outdueled by Buffalo's Steven Michaels, who ended up with a no-decision to show for his 7 strong innings. The game was tied in the 8th when Buffalo's RF Jordan Ball hit a wall-scraping home run to provide the winning margin.

Louisville went to Charlotte and pounded out 17 hits in a 7-4 win. Carlton Fleming gave up 1 run in 5 2/3 innings and 1B Ismael Polanco hit a 3-run home run in the 1st to give the Legends a lead they would never relinquish.

Little Rock outhit Nashville but the Sounds still managed to win 4-1. In what could be something the Nashville fans may need to get used to, all 4 runs for the Sounds came on home runs (a 2-run shot and a solo blast by Midre Santiago and a solo homer from King Winn). Joey Hubbard went the distance for the Raiders but just couldn't keep the ball in the park.

Anaheim only managed 6 hits against Matty Eusebio and 6 Colorado Springs Chickens relievers, but managed to win 2-0. Andy Ramsey was the star for the Chiles, going 7 shoutout innings and turning the lead over to B.J. Wallace and closer Vince Perez, who got the save.

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