LEADING OFF: Indians play home opener, Red Sox fight flu
A look at what’s happening all around the majors today:
The Indians play their first game in Cleveland since losing an epic Game 7 to the Chicago Cubs in the World Series last season. Most of the baseball world remembers the Cubs ending their 108-year title drought, but the memories aren’t so positive for the Indians. “It still hurts,” star shortstop Francisco Lindor said last week. “It’s tough. But we’ve got to turn the page.” They’ll try to do that behind Carlos Carrasco (1-0, 3.18 ERA) while facing James Shields (1-0, 1.69) and Chicago’s other team, the White Sox.
Giants star Buster Posey will likely sit out a day but was doing well after being struck in the helmet by a 94 mph fastball Monday. Posey will be re-evaluated before a game against Arizona, but San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy said the catcher is “doing good” following the scary moment. “It’s one of the worst sounds you can hear in baseball, the ball hitting the helmet,” Bochy said. “It’s a scary moment. There’s been a lot of damage to hitters hit in the head.”
The flu-ridden Red Sox return to Boston still trying to kick the bug that’s ailed the club during the first week of the season. The home clubhouse at Fenway Park was fumigated and disinfected ahead of this homestand after Mookie Betts, Hanley Ramirez, Robbie Ross and even broadcaster Dave O’Brien have been sidelined by illness. Drew Pomeranz (left forearm flexor strain) comes off the disabled list to make his first start of the season for Boston against Baltimore’s Dylan Bundy (1-0, 1.29 ERA).
OUT OF THE GATE
After a day the surprising Minnesota Twins try to maintain the momentum of a 5-1 start when they visit the Detroit Tigers. Meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays attempt to regroup from a 1-5 start when they play their home opener against Milwaukee.
Trying to shake off his slow start, new Cardinals leadoff man Dexter Fowler faces Washington Nationals left-hander Gio Gonzalez. Fowler is 10 for 20 with a home run and four extra-base hits against Gonzalez in his career.
The Nationals placed Trea Turner on the disabled list Monday with a strained right hamstring, but manager Dusty Baker was thrilled to only lose the shortstop for 10 days instead of 15 thanks to an offseason rule change. The minimum DL stay was shortened to 10 days for non-concussion-related injuries as part of the new collective bargaining agreement. “I think baseball did one of the best things they’ve done in a long time,” Baker said.