April 14, 1987
The Mariners got a great game from starting pitcher Scott Bankhead. Light hitting second baseman Harold Reynolds provided all of the offense they would need with a 2-run home run in the bottom of the 4th inning. Edwin Nunez picked up the save and the Mariners have won three straight games.
Starter Floyd Bannister continues his hot start by cooling off the Blue Jays. Bannister held one of the best offenses in baseball to just 2 runs on 7 hits in 7 innings. Tim Hulett and Ron Hassey hit home runs for the White Sox. Joe Johnson who won a spot in the rotation due to his performance in spring training was not very effective.
New York (4-4)..........4
A lot of experts picked the Indians to win the division this year. They finished the 1986 season with the best offense in baseball and they have a solid young core of players in Joe Carter and Cory Snyder. But once again their offense under performed and their pitching staff just wasn't good enough. The Yankees didn't do anything special and were actually out hit by the Indians 8-6. But Bob Tewksbury continued to pitch his way out of trouble and the Yankees bats hit well when they needed it. After a poor start, the Yankees are starting to catch fire.
Kansas City (3-4)......7
After flying out of the gate at 5-0 the Tigers have now dropped two straight. This one was a heartbreaker. The Royals had a 3-1 lead heading into the top of the 9th. With two outs and already one run in, Lou Whitaker ripped a base hit up the middle to tie the game. Then in the top of the 11th, Pat Sheridan crushed a two-out two-run double to left and the Tigers had the lead. With closer Willie Hernandez hurting, the young promising future closer Eric King came in to close it out. He made quick work of pinch hitters Thad Bosley and Juan Beniquez. After a walk to Willie Wilson, Kevin Seitzer hit his second home run of the game and we were tied once again. Sparky Anderson decided to let King stay in the ball game. George Brett then singled to left field and then Frank White drove the next pitch into the left field bleachers for the walk off victory.
An early battle for the AL East lead started off with a bang. The Brewers would put up three runs in the first thanks to a 2-run blast by their new first baseman Greg Brock. The Orioles would bounce back in the bottom of the inning with a couple of run scoring singles by Cal Ripken and Fred Lynn. With just a one run lead the Brewers would explode in the 5th and send 10 men to the plate. Three walks and four singles later the Brewers would now lead 8-3. The Orioles would mount a comeback thanks to two solo homers by Larry Sheets and Jim Dwyer back to back, but it wouldn't be enough.
The Oakland Athletics are still trying to figure out which of their promising future first basemen do they want to keep. Rob Nelson or Mark McGwire. Nelson won the job coming out of camp but the A's kept both to start the season. Nelson would get the start and he played well. He went 1 for 3 at the plate and saved two throws in the field from being errors. In the bottom of the 9th with a tie game and runners on the corners, Tony LaRussa decided to make a switch and in came McGwire to pinch hit for Nelson. McGwire would hit a screaming line drive single for the walk off win. The A's are getting a lot of interest from teams needing a first baseman. With the rotation uncertainty look for one of them to be dealt in the up coming weeks.
Just barely into the second week of the season and the Red Sox are already tired of hearing about it. The Red Sox have had a rough off season. First catcher Rich Gedman turned down their token free agency offer and is currently unsigned leaving the team with nothing but inexperience behind the plate. Then their young ace Roger Clemens decided to hold out and missed spring training and the beginning of the season. They took out their frustrations on the Rangers today. Don Baylor got the action started in the bottom of the first with a bases clearing double. Three innings later they erupted. The put up 6 hits and 6 runs in the inning and Jim Rice hit a home run. They would add 5 more runs in the 8th thanks to two key errors by the Indians. When the Red Sox were done they banged out 18 total hits. Wade Boggs had 4 of them. The only player to not get a hit was Dwight Evans and he walked three times.
Pete Roses' Reds have huge expectations this year but if they don't get their starting pitching in check they will struggle to compete for the division. The Reds are armed with arguable the best bullpen in the league. The three headed monster of Rob Murphy, Frank Williams, and John Franco are tops in the league. They have one of the better all around offense and defenses in the league. They have great veteran leadership with guys like Dave Parker, Buddy Bell, and Bo Diaz. They have some of the brightest young talent in the league in guys like Eric Davis, Barry Larkin, Kal Daniels, and Paul O'Neill. All in all the Reds have the makings of the best team in the National League. Going into the season they knew the rotation would be their question mark and starting the year off without veteran Mario Soto doesn't help. The fact that Ted Power struggled badly against one of the leagues worst offenses doesn't bode too well for the Reds going forward. Power pitched just 4 2/3 innings and allowed 7 hits and 5 runs. Gerald Perry and Andres Thomas led the Braves with three hits a piece and combined for 5 RBIs.
Los Angeles (2-7).......1
After allowing a first inning run, Danny Darwin was lights out again for the Astros. If Darwin can continue to pitch like this, combine him with Cy Young winner Mike Scott and Nolan Ryan and the Astros could be going to the World Series. Glenn Davis hit a grand slam in the second inning to provide Houston with all of the offense they would need. The Dodgers have struggled at the start of the season and the main reason is their rotation, which was supposed to be their biggest strength heading into the season.
St. Louis (5-2).........5
When Vince Coleman gets on base, the Cardinals offense is a lot better. Coleman led off with a single, then stole second. Jay Tibbs was so distracted he left a pitch out over the middle that Ozzie Smith ripped for a double. He never recovered and the Cardinals put up a 5-run first inning. Jack Clark had a very typical Jack Clark day with a walk, 2 strike outs, and a home run. Young left Greg Mathews pitched a pretty solid game for the win.
New York (5-1)..........3
It doesn't look like anything can stop the defending champions. It's still early but even an offseason filled with trouble can't derail the Mets. Ron Darling was dominant. He pitched the complete game shutout only giving up 3 hits and struck out 7 in the process. At one point in the game Darling retired 12 in a row then walked back to back hitters and finished the game with retiring the final 10 hitters. The Phillies did get a good game out of Bruce Ruffin which is a good sign for them, but he couldn't match Darling.
San Francisco (5-4).....3
San Diego (4-4).........5
Rookie catcher Benito Santiago paced the Padres with a 3-run home run in the bottom of the second inning and starting pitcher Ed Wojna had San Diego up 5-0 after 7. As he was getting tired he did struggle in the 8th to the tune of 3 runs but Dave Dravecky and Lance McCullers would close the Giants down the rest of the way.