Nothing says Spring like opening day in the PWBL. Everyone is full of hope and aspirations for a run at a chip. Some things change, like the Brewers roster, others remain the same, like the Diamond Backs squad. In a game billed as the game of the week, Dakota Kenny once again took the carpet for an opening day battle and Garret Torres took his new beardless look to the carpet for the D-Backs. The two traded Zeros and were both extremely accurate, pounding the zone early in counts keeping hitters off balance and behind in counts. Through 4 Joe Schaefer managed a couple of singles and the one mistake Dakota let go to Guillod was kept in the park for a double. Cue the heroics: Anthony Bevilacqua sat out the 2016 season due to injury and The Brewers took a chance drafting him 3rd overall in 2017, not certain of what was left in the tank for A-Bev. In his 1st game back A-Bev delivered a YUGE 5th inning HR with 2 outs to put the Brewers up 1-0. Welcome Back indeed. The bottom of the 5th saw Dakota labor a little and the team held court on the mound with 1 out and two men on base and collectively decided to bring in Joe Schaefer to close it out and put Paraskevas on the field in right. Schaefer got Guillod to pop up in the wind and a shaky kneed Paraskevas somehow got under out for the out and then Schaefer dealt dirty to Garret Torres for the K and a Brewers victory.
What A Difference a Year Makes
The Dodgers scored 18 runs on Opening Day against the Expos. Last year they didn't score their 18th run until July. At first glance you would have thought that off-season acquisition Wiffman was responsible for the outburst but with just three RBI on the day he trails Costa with seven, Trenary with four and Bevelacqua with four.
After facing a shorthanded Expos squad the Dodgers might not want to start uncorking the champagne yet but they have a lot to be happy about. Trenary looked like vintage Trenary. In three innings of work (thanks to mercy rule), Trenary K'd 9 of the 11 batters he faced and didn't allow a batted ball in fair territory. Costa who arrived late stepped into the box without a lick of BP and promptly went, single, single, grand slam. Bevelacqua's four opening day RBI already surpassed what was an embarrassing 2016 season.
And then there is Wiffman. Though he didn't homer he did manage to go 4 for 8 with five walks and was the only player opening day who didn't strike out. The only one.
Istorico Cruises into 2017 with First Win Under His Belt
The 2017 season came in hotter than anyone expected. The "old" new look 2017 Mariners came back and were hoping for another stellar year. The Mariners welcomed back franchise legend, Matt Fliesser, as well as palisades vet Steven Gitlitz. In week one the Mariners thought they were going to be facing Weiner and Robles. Well they got half of the prediction right. Game one the Mariners sent Istorico to the mound to face off against Greg Tyler.
Istorico went out to the mound in odd fashion, throwing strikes. He cruised through the game, only allowing a walks, not 10. When I asked Istorico how he threw strikes, he simply responded, "I don't know!" He must have made some off season adjustments that hopefully will last the whole season . Matt Fliesser added an RBI single in the early innings as the Mariners were only able to muster one run through 5 innings. The Yankees Bo Muschinsky collected the only hit for his club. The Mariners got what they wanted, a quick 5 inning game to start the year 1-0.
Weiner Ks 14 and hits game winning 2 run HR in the 4th
For the second game of the season, the Yankees took on K. Von and the Padres, and as expected this was a low scoring game. In the first inning, first batter Joey got a little excited to start the game and threw the ball away but that was no problem for the big Weiner who recently enlarged the number on his jersey. He got out of the inning with no harm. The first 2 innings were scoreless and we traded 0’s until the top of the 3rd when Weiner walked in a run and then shut the Padres down with bases loaded and one out. It wasn’t until the bottom of the 4th with two outs, two strikes and a man on first, Weiner hit a home run to dead center off K. Von and that’s all Weiner would need to seal the deal minus a little scare in the 5th from Sean Ryan.
Fresiello homers in third as Giants squeak past Astros
Ryan McElrath took the mound for the Giants while Gerard Fitzgerald took the mound for the Astros. Both teams were scoreless until the 3rd when the Giants struck first on a Phil Fresiello 3 run home run. The Astros answered though with a Fitzgerald 2 run shot, Making it 3-2. McElrath was able to settle in and keep the Astros scoreless in the 4th and 5th hanging on to a 3-2 win.
Diamondbacks Even Series With 10-4 Win
After suffering a crushing loss at the hands of the Brewers, the Diamondbacks looked to get on the board early and often. That’s exactly what they did. The top of the first saw 7 Diamondbacks score, and that was more than enough for Rich Guillod to earn his first win of the season. Guillod went yard three times and Devin Torres pitched in with a grand slam for his first home run of the season. Ken Stengel saw time on the carpet for the first time since 2013 and earned a 2-inning save.
The Brewers showed life after falling behind early, and that’s a great sign for a franchise that could be one of the most underrated teams of 2017. If Anthony Bevilacqua can polish up his pitching a bit (he gave up 5 runs in 4 2/3 innings) the Brewers will get the respect they deserve. Dakota Kenny looked excellent at the plate with two home runs, and A-Bev kept his hot day going, missing the cycle by a triple.