They put the best pitchers on display on Opening Day for a reason. It's not just because everybody else does it, but putting one's best foot forward is crucial to success for a starting rotation.
Having said that, Brandon Webb and Aaron Cook took "pitcher's duel" to new, perverted levels Monday afternoon as each pitcher was equally shelled in the Arizona Diamondbacks 9-8 victory over the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field.
Every time I turned around (read: un-minimized the MLB.tv feed), another ball reached the seats. And, still, there were four more home runs that I missed on the commute home, totaling eight over the course of the game. Troy Tulowitzki, Chris Ianbetta, and Seth Smith went long for the Rockies. For the D'backs, it was Chad Tracy, and two each by the unlikeliest of sources, Felipe Lopez and Tony Clark.
As for Clark, well, sure. He's on the team because he's a switch-hitting threat to go deep. But Lopez? The new leadoff hitter? What an impression to make.
FUN FACT ALERT
Clark and Lopez are switch-hitters, and lo and behold, they both hit a homer from each side of the plate. ESPN said that this is the first time two different players hit a home run on each side of the plate in an Opening Day game. One of these days I'll find out how they figure these amazing stats out.
Cook and Webb each gave up six runs and two homers, resulting in no-decisions. Tony Pena notched the win, while He Who Shall Not Be Criticized, Jason Grilli, took the loss in relief.
Of all the D'backs' units I previewed, I omitted the bullpen, perhaps out of sloth, but also because the pen is so hard to predict every year, let alone game. But on Monday they offered up five innings of relief, allowing just two runs. Chad Qualls pitched a perfect ninth for the save.
The Snakes are now on a three-game winning streak on Opening Day. Of course, that includes two wins over the Rockies and one over the Reds. Wake me when a better stat comes along.
(Photo credit: Michael Chow/Arizona Republic)