So I assembled all the cards for Opening Day, picked up the 4-D dice, which felt sort of warm and ticklish in my hand, and threw them on the table. Before I knew it the light inside the trailer began to fade, I started to smell grilled hot dogs, I was drenched in sunshine, and a field of perfectly clean and green Astroturf appeared before me…
Game of the Day
KANSAS CITY—Minnesota’s Goltz against Leonard for openers on a weirdly warm spring day, and I can’t even count the incredible moments in this one.
First you get Hisle rapping into two DPs in the first four innings, both coming after Carew singles. Then with the game still scoreless in the top of the 8th, Wynegar singles, gets run for by Terrell, Carew walks him to second, Hisle learns from his mistakes and bunts them over—but Adams whiffs and Cubbage pops out.
In the last of the 8th Patek singles, swipes second, gets bunted to third by White and just plain rots there as Poquette and Cowens go out.
In the last of the 9th Cubbage kicks Brett’s dribbler into a 2-base error to lead the inning, after which Bostock climbs the wall to rob McRae of a walkoff homer, Porter whiffs and Otis grounds out.
Finally in the bottom of the 10th, Mayberry singles, Wilson pinch-runs and steals second, and Frank White singles him home for the only run of the game. For Leonard, it’s nine Ks and one walk in 10 innings of work–but Goltz is just as good.
MIN 000 000 000 0 – 0 7 1
K.C. 000 000 000 1 – 1 6 1
at ORIOLES 1-4-1, RED SOX 0-4-0
In almost a mimeograph copy of the last one, Jim Palmer whiffs eight Bosox in the Memorial Stadium opener. Jenkins is equally brutal but DeCinces tags him for a 7th inning solo shot to decide the thing. Can’t believe my boys laid down for this underwear clown.
W-Palmer L-Jenkins HR-DeCinces
YANKEES 6-11-0, at INDIANS 5-9-1
The Lake Mistake is filled to capacity, and everything twisted that can happen to the Tribe does. For starters, the first Cleveland batter Ron Pruitt gets hit with a Guidry fastball and goes out with a 10-game injury. Grubb replaces him and goes out later in the game with another injury. And still the Indians almost take the game. Spikes hits a 2-run shot in the 2nd to give them the first lead, but Nettles ties it with a 4th inning blast, and Reggie takes Eckersley way deeper with two aboard in the 5th. Down 6-2 in the 8th, two singles and a walk bring on Tidrow, who gives up a run-scoring single to Bochte. Lowenstein hits for Spikes and misses a 3-run homer by inches. Norris starts the 9th with a double to bring on Lyle, but Sparky gets Kuiper, Fosse and Bell to end the ordeal.
W-Guidry L-Eckersley SV-Lyle
HRS: Nettles, Jackson, Spikes
at WHITE SOX 4-6-1, RANGERS 3-8-1
Future Hall of Famer Blyleven has one rough inning, a three-tun Chicago 4th, but it’s enough to give the Sox a close win and get Comiskey Park singing that annoying Hey Hey Goodbye song.
W-Barrios L-Blyleven SV-LaGrow
EXPOS 5-11-0, at REDS 3-8-2 (10 innings)
Runner-up for Game of the Day. Rogers and ‘Spos take 3-0 lead with mini-rallies off Tom Terrific. Cincy explodes for three in the 8th on Griffey and Bench doubles and jettison Rogers. Gary Kid Carter bashes 2-run homer in top of the 10th off Sarmiento for the game-winners.
W-Kerrigan L-Sarmiento HR-Carter
PIRATES 3-7-0, at PHILLIES 0-7-0
The Candy Man cometh: John Candelaria allows zero walks in a CG shutout vs. Carlton. Stennett double, Robinson single produce Buc run in 1st, Gonzalez single, Oliver and Taveras doubles assemble two more in the 7th.
at CUBS 8-11-0, ASTROS 3-11-2
Houston finally wakes up on the late side with a flurry of hits and all three of their runs, but this is a Cubbie onslaught for most of the game. Slim Rick Reuschel puts Ferguson and Cedeno on with a walk and single to start the day, then whiffs Watson, Cruz and Puhl in a row, and four of the next six he faces.
W-R. Reuschel L-Richard HR-Gross
DODGERS 5-12-0, at CARDS 3-9-0
L.A. scratches out 1st inning run on Forsch, Reitz puts Cards ahead with 2-run smash off Hooton and the Dodgers take it from there. The first six Angelenos reach base in the 5th as they score three times. McBride ‘fro not a factor in St. Louis loss.
W-Hooton L-Forsch HR-Reitz
American League through Tuesday, April 15
National League through Tuesday, April 15