Cubs, Maddon become first to use no-pitch intentional walk

Cubs, Maddon become first to use no-pitch intentional walk

Cubs, Maddon become first to use no-pitch intentional walk

Opening night is over and it's a very long season and we a just getting started so let's not make any postseason predictions yet.

Sunday's season opener was a good microcosm of the Cubs offense as a whole; ugly and strikeout prone when it is off as it was for most of the game, and risky when on as it was in tying the game with a ninth-inning three-run rally against a very strong closer in Seung-Hwan Oh.

Oh ended up being the winning pitcher, while Mike Montgomery took the loss for the Cubs when he surrendered Grichuk's walk off hit.

Grichuk gave the Cards a couple of insurance runs in the eighth inning when he blasted a 391 foot line drive two run homer to right to make it a 3-0 St. Louis lead. But Oh, who maneuvered out of a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the Cubs' half of the eighth, blew the save with the help of a play not made. He roped a bases-loaded walk-off single to the wall in left field, sending the fraction of the crowd that stuck around through the late-night rain home happy. "You can't win them all, but we'll battle all nine innings". "We'll see if we can lock it in for a couple of hours, try and get a win and get done with the game and continue to live out his legacy and celebrate his life". Looking like the next great St. Louis pitcher, Carlos Martinez unleashed 100-mph heat, putting together 7.1 scoreless innings with 10 strikeouts against zero walks, a reminder that the Cubs will get everyone's best shot this season. "It is something I have to look forward to, it is home", Sands said. "But I've never had that kind of focus before".

The Cubs were confronted with the challenge of hitting triple-digit fastballs and swing-and-miss sliders from Martinez, and then the reality that the Cardinals' lineup is pretty darn solid too. "Great pitching, great movement".

The Cardinals held a 1-0 lead after seven innings, having scored off Cubs starting pitcher Jon Lester in the third.

He joined Barry Bonds (2002), Matt Williams (1994) and Willie Mays (1964) as the only Giants to score two home runs on Opening Day in the past 50 years.

St. Louis opened the scoring in its half of the third with a run built on the speed it didn't display much of a year ago. If anything, the games could be even more intense this season with Dexter Fowler leaving the Cubs to sign a five-year deal with the Cardinals.

He struck out 11 through seven innings and belted two solo homers before the Giants' bullpen cost them, as it did throughout 2016.

NY lost on Opening Day for the sixth consecutive year, with Tanaka matching the shortest start ever by a Yankees pitcher in an opener. "Every win is big".

"It was an opportunity to show St. Louis and the Cardinals that I am the man for the job", Martinez said, "and obviously showcase the talent to the world". The Cardinals can look no further than the Cleveland Indians, which Vegas had at 30-1 to start a year ago.

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