Monday, April 3, 2017

Madison Bumgarner Goes Yard Twice As Giants Fall to D'Backs; Rays' Evan Longoria Victimizes Yankees Again

Players of the Day for Sunday, April 2, 2017

American League

Evan Longoria
The NY Yankees may have been the best team in Spring Training, but it certainly didn't translate well into games that actually count.

In MLB's first regular season game, the Yankees got whipped by a team that's always been trouble for them, and, by a player that's been a thorn in the collective Yankee sides since he came onto the scene in 2008, third baseman, Evan Longoria.

In the first inning, Longoria knocked in leadoff DH (seriously, who but Tampa uses the DH as their leadoff guy?) Corey Dickerson with a Sac fly, and, as Yankee ace Masahiro Tanaka struggled along, socked a two-run line-shot homer into the left field corner of Tropicana Field, putting the Rays ahead 5-2. Tampa had scored two earlier runs in the first on Logan Morrison's two-run double, and Morrison added a solo shot in the third to make it 6-2 helping the Rays cruise to the 7-2 blowout.

Tampa Bay starter, Chris Archer, yielded two runs on seven hits over seven innings. The Rays and Yankees resume their three-game series on Tuesday, at 7:10 pm ET.

National League

Madison Bumgarner hit the record books hard on Sunday, but his imprimatur will be for his efforts at the plate, not for his prowess on the mound.

Bumgarner Homers Twice
Bumgarner pitched well enough to win but didn't, leaving the game after giving up three runs in the sixth inning, which tied the game at 3-3. Prior to his departure, however, MadBum, as some call him, socked a fifth-inning solo homer to put the Giants briefly ahead, 2-0, and came back to bat in the top of the seventh and did it again, becoming the first pitcher in MLB history to stroke two homers on opening day.

The last Giant pitcher to even hit a homer on opening day was Johnny Antonelli, in 1956.

While his exploits at the plate will forever be recorded in the annals of baseball history, the 11 strikeouts he recorded in San Francisco's 6-5 loss at Arizona won't likely receive much notice.

The Giants and Diamondbacks resume their four-game series on Tuesday night.

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