A light night on Tuesday as MLB scheduled games only on the West Coast or at ballparks with roofs, leaving an open day in some cities in case games on Opening Day had been rained out.
Some quick thoughts on the games ...
I'd be concerned about the San Francisco Giants' rotation. Matt Cain landed on the DL, Jake Peavy's bullpen session didn't go well, and then Ryan Vogelsong gave up two three-run homers in a 7-6 loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Tim Lincecum -- minus-3.0 WAR over the past three seasons -- suddenly looks very important and not just a back-of-the-rotation innings-eater. To top off Tuesday's bad day for the defending champs, Brandon Belt left the game with a groin strain.
Dodgers play bad baseball: What was a good pitching duel for six innings between Zack Greinke and Tyson Ross turned into a comedy of errors for the Dodgers as the Padres scored one in the seventh, one in the eighth and four in the ninth for a 7-3 victory. The Dodgers were charged with just three errors but had a couple other lapses in the field, including Carl Crawford turning Justin Upton's first-inning line drive into an RBI triple. The Dodgers used six relievers after Greinke left the game, had a wild pitch, and left one wondering how this bullpen is ultimately going to line up until Kenley Jansen returns. Manager Don Mattingly tried to mix and match but the pen allowed nine hits in three innings. Ugly.
C.J. Wilson brilliant. Can we call him the mercurial left-hander of the Los Angeles Angels? Wilson was inconsistent, to say the least, in 2014, going 13-10 but leading the AL in walks and posting a 4.51 ERA. In his 2015 debut, he had fastball command, worked fast, mixed in his changeup and cutter, and retired the final 17 Seattle Mariners he faced as he threw eight scoreless innings in a 2-0 win. He struck out only two men, but I don't even remember a hard-hit ball. The Mariners picked up Nelson Cruz, Justin Ruggiano and Rickie Weeks to help a lineup that was feeble against lefties in 2014, but on this night it looked like the team that tied for the MLB lead with 19 shutouts last season. Seattle's James Paxton was nearly as good as Wilson, but made one mistake, getting a fastball out and over the plate instead of inside to David Freese, who hit a two-run homer in the fourth.
Zach Britton will be one of the game's elite closers. After failing to make it as a starter for the Baltimore Orioles, Britton moved to the bullpen last season and suddenly his 91 mph fastball was firing in at 95-96 with movement. He took over as the team's closer in mid-May and still recorded 37 saves while limiting opponents to a .178 average. His fastball has natural sink -- a reason many expected he'd develop into a good starter -- and is hard to square up. In closing out Baltimore's 6-5 win over the Tampa Bay Rays, he struck out the side while throwing 23 pitches -- all of them fastballs. Where does he rank among closers? Once you get past the big three of Craig Kimbrel, Aroldis Chapman and Greg Holland, I'd be as comfortable with him as anybody else.
Nate Karns roughed up. Karns was in a battle for Tampa's fifth rotation slot entering spring training, but the injuries to Alex Cobb and Drew Smyly had him starting the second game. His first inning was rough as the first four hitters all scorched line drives, leading to a four-run inning. In the second inning, Steve Pearce hit an 0-2 curveball for a two-run homer. Tampa has a history of developing young starters, but Karns has now made six career starts and has allowed nine home runs in 29.1 innings. He has a good arm and the curveball is supposedly his best weapon, but he left a few hangers. His Triple-A numbers -- 5.08 ERA -- suggest he's still a work in progress.
Texas Rangers 3, Oakland Athletics 1. Only saw the last inning of this one and Brett Lawrie looked horrible in striking out to end it. He's going to see a lot of off-speed stuff until he stops missing those pitches by two feet. Colby Lewis allowed one run in six innings for the Rangers, but the key at-bat of the game came in the seventh. The A's loaded the bases with one out against 21-year-old rookie reliever Keone Kela, making his major league debut, but he got Marcus Semien to ground into a 6-3 double play on a 3-2 sinker.
Double trouble. The Colorado Rockies hit six doubles in their 5-2 win over the Milwaukee Brewers, a day after hitting six in a 10-0 win on Opening Day. Apparently, that's a record for most doubles in the first two games of a season. So, congrats, Rockies. A reader in my chat suggested the Brewers have a high degree of collapse potential, and that's probably true. They're very thin in the rotation if somebody goes down, and they lack depth in position players as well. Ryan Braun's strain in his side apparently isn't serious, so that's good news. After leading the NL Central through August last season before collapsing with a 9-17 record in September, you have to think manager Ron Roenicke is on the hot seat if the Brewers get off to a slow start.
Tuesday night power rankings
1. Vin Scully: "I'm absolutely amazed about the beards. I can remember when the No. 1 sponsor for the World Series was Gillette."
2. C.J. Wilson.
3. Jake Lamb and the Diamondbacks' matte finish helmets (tie).
5. Zach Britton's fastball.