So there you have it. The Chicago Cubs begin the 2018 campaign in style with an 8-4 victory over the Miami Marlins. If there was an omen as to how the season’s going to shape up to be, then look no further to Ian Happ. He crushed a homer at his first at bat of the season, the first pitch of the game and the first pitch of any game of the new season.
Michael Cerami promised to jump into Lake Michigan should Happ accomplish this feat.
Sorry Mike, I’m not jumping into Lake Ontario if Kyle Hendricks pitches a No Hitter tonight.
With the Cubs taking game 1 does this mean we should be getting the parade started? Naw, but as Joe Maddon says,
“To get that win was nice. You’ve got nice pitching coming up. That’s what you look at — here comes Kyle [Hendricks], here comes Yu [Darvish], here comes [Jose Quintana], here comes [Tyler] Chatwood. That makes the difference for me when you can throw good of a quality pitcher every night, it just presents differently to your team.” Maddon said.
I think he’s right on this one. No matter how many home runs the Cubs knock into the stands, this season’s coming down to the pitching. With that rotation, the Cubs should be going deep into the playoffs and hopefully bringing something really special back to Wrigley Field in October.
“It definitely helped me get used to [leading off], especially having the first at-bat in the game,” Happ said of the spring games. “It’s definitely going to be a process. I think I learned more today from the other four at-bats than the first one.”
Then there was Kyle Schwarber and Anthony Rizzo knocking it deep. Baseball is definitely back and it couldn’t come sooner. However, the day brought a sombre feel to it in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shootings, Rizzo’s Alma Mater.
“I’ve hit a lot of home runs,” Rizzo said. “That was probably the most out-of-body experience I’ve had hitting a home run in my life. It just felt really good. My emotions on Opening Day are usually pretty high, but with all this, you can’t really put it into words. I put my hand on the Stoneman Douglas patch and looked up to those kids up there, the adults who have lost their lives,” he said. “It was a special moment for me personally.”
Opening Day brings special moments to people and if that is the equivalent to Bambino’s “called shot” give me Rizzo’s any day.