MLB Roundup: The Doc, the Panda & the Tiger

Phillies 2, Astros 1
It’s about time Roy Halladay produced a shutout – I mean, it’s been two games for crib’s sake. The “Doc” gave up just one run on seven innings while striking out eight in nine innings on Sunday to help the Phillies beat the Astros, 2-1. Houston’s feeble offense once again mustered very little run support for Roy Oswalt, who dropped to 0-2 on the season after losing earlier last week to Tim Lincecum. The Astros are now 0-6 on the year under new manager Don’t-worry-about-his-name-because-it-won’t-matter-soon-anyway.

Tigers 9, Indians 8
Justin Verlander looked like feces again for a second straight outing, allowing six runs on six hits and surrendering a grand slam to somebody named Luis Valbuena. (I checked, he’s actually on Cleveland’s roster.) Even when Verlander did settle down, he still only struck out three batters and wasn’t his usual dominant self. But it’s still early, so Tiger fans have nothing to worry about yet. Detroit overcame a 7-3 deficit in the sixth inning by scratching across six runs in the final three frames to improve to 5-1 on the year. Chris Perez played the goat for the Tribe by throwing a wild pitch to give up the go-ahead run in the bottom of the ninth. He gave up three runs on three hits in his one inning of relief.

Giants 6, Braves 3
Somebody woke up the Kung Fu Panda on Sunday. Pablo Sandoval, who hasn’t looked sharp at the plate or in the field to start the season, went 3-for-4 with two RBI, three runs scored and one mammoth two-run homer (his first of the year). He also made a great catch on a foul play hit by Jason Heyward earlier in the game where he almost tumbled over the railing of the Giants’ dugout. Sandoval bailed out Tim Lincecum, who only struck out 10 batters in seven innings to rack up his second win of the year.

Blue Jays 5, Orioles 2
After the Jays blew their opener against the Rangers (a game in which they should have won), many people felt comfortable resigning to the notion that they would struggle all season (especially considering Roy Halladay isn’t around to save them every fifth day now). But with three more long balls in a 5-2 win over the Orioles on Sunday, Toronto has slugged its way to a 5-1 record. Perhaps what’s most impressive about their early success is that every game they’ve played has been on the road. They’ve yet to have their home opener, which comes tonight against the White Sox.

Reds 3, Cubs 1
Rookie Mike Leake made his MLB debut on Sunday and he was wild to say the least. He allowed just one run on four hits, but he walked seven batters on 106 pitches. Fortunately for him, his Reds were playing a hapless (at least so far) Cubs team that is struggling to generate offense in the early going. Chicago wasted a solid effort by Tom Gorzelanny, who gave up just one run on four hits in 6.1 innings of work, and also struck out seven batters. Cincy scored one run in the seventh and added two more in the eighth to improve to 3-3 on the year.

Yankees 7, Rays 3
A.J. Burnett was outstanding on Sunday, yielding just two runs in seven innings to help the Yankees beat the Rays. He only struck out one batter, but managed to get 11 fly ball outs to tame Tampa’s offense. He also was able to pitch to Jorge Posada for the second straight game without wanting to rip his face off, so good news there.

Nationals 5, Mets 2
Josh Willingham beat the Mets virtually single-handily on Sunday by hitting a grand slam off Johan Santana in the first inning and later adding a RBI double to help the Nats down New York, 5-2. Willingham finished with two hits, five RBI and one runs scored.

Photo from fOTOGLIF

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