There are no certainties in baseball, but when the Detroit Tigersâ€™ owner Mike Illitch decided to spend a fortune on acquiring Prince Fielder over the offseason there was every reason to be confident that it would have a positive impact.
Barring a bad break with an injury â€“ and the Tigers will hope losing Victor Martinez all year to a knee injury should use up a fair amount of their bad luck â€“ we all knew that the Tigers would have arguably the most destructive 3-4 hitters in the Majors.
Fielder and Miguel Cabrera have wasted little time in living up to that billing.
They both smashed two home runs on Saturday in a 10-0 demolition of the Red Sox, including the pair going back-to-back in the bottom of the fifth inning. It will be of no comfort to Josh Beckett that heâ€™s unlikely to be the last pitcher to suffer that indignity this season, and indeedÂ in years to come.
Saturday was the day for going deep twice. The Metsâ€™ Lucas Duda, the Brewersâ€™ Corey Hart and the D-Backsâ€™ Aaron Hill all enjoyed hitting one out so much that they decided to repeat the trick.
Dudaâ€™s double blow, joined by David Wright getting off the mark with his first homer of the season, made it two wins from two for the Mets over the Braves.Â R.A. Dickey got the win for the Mets which would have pleased me more had I not made the mistake of forgetting to move him from my fantasy bench into my starting line-up.Â Thatâ€™s error number one on the season for me, sadly likely to be the first of many.
Aaron Hillâ€™s two homers helped Arizona to their second win of the season over the San Francisco Giants and the D-Backsâ€™ attempt to make it a season-opening sweep will be broadcast on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra this evening from 21.00.
Thatâ€™s one of twelve day-games taking place today in the States, producing the first real feast of live baseball at a convenient evening hour for us in the UK this year. All times are in BST.
18.05. Toronto at Cleveland (Carreno – Lowe)
18.05. Boston at Detroit (Buchholz – Scherzer)
18.10. Miami at Cincinnati (Zambrano – Arroyo)
18.10. Atlanta at NY Mets (Minor – Niese)
18.35. Minnesota at Baltimore (Swarzak – Hammel)
18.35. Philadelphia at Pittsburgh (Worley – McDonald)
18.40. NY Yankees at Tampa Bay (Hughes – Hellickson) * ESPN America
19.05. Colorado at Houston (Nicasio – Norris)
19.10. St. Louis at Milwaukee (Lynn – Wolf)
19.20. Washington at Chicago Cubs (Zimmermann – Samardzija)
20.35. Kansas City at LA AngelsÂ Â (Sanchez – Santana)
21.05. LA Dodgers at San Diego (Harang – Richard)
21.10. San Francisco at ArizonaÂ Â (Cain – Collmenter) * BBC 5 Live Sports Extra
01.00 a.m. Chicago White Sox at Texas (Floyd – Harrison)
Matt Cain recently signed a well-deserved contract extension with the Giants and helping his team to their first victory of the season would be the perfect way to celebrate. His opposing starting pitcher Josh Collmenter comes into this season with the objective of proving that his success last year was not simplyÂ the product of hitters struggling due to an unfamiliarityÂ with hisÂ unconventional pitching motion and that he can sustain his performance long-term.
All of these games are available to watch live via the MLB.TV subscription at MLB.com.Â Nat Coombs and Josh Chetwynd will be on BBC 5 Live Sports Extra (and on the BBC.co.uk website for UK residents) from 21.00 with the Giants vs D-Backs game.Â ESPN America is showing the Yankees-Rays game and then the ESPN Sunday Night contest between the White Sox and Rangers from 1.00 a.m.Â The full schedule for todayâ€™s games can be found on MLB.com.