Central Intelligence: Week of April 2 – The Season Starts!

It’s here, it’s finally here! after a spring training that seemed longer than usual, the Major League Baseball season is finally underway. The Central division has gotten off to an okay start so far, and here’s a rundown of the action:

Chicago Cubs:

  • The defending World Series champion Chicago Cubs (That sounds great, doesn’t it?) have gotten off to a 3-2 start so far.  They took two of three from the Cardinals in the first series of the year.
  • Albert Almora Jr. recorded a 3-hit game with two RBI Saturday night. Almora also made this wall-crawling catch, preserving a lead in St. Louis.
  • Jason Heyward’s revamped swing has helped get out to a good start at the plate, with a .313 average through five games.
  • Kyle Schwarber has made his presence felt in his return to the lineup in 2017. He hit a game-winning home run in the series finale against the Cardinals on Wednesday.

Cincinnati Reds:

  • The Reds have gotten off to a mildly surprising 3-2 start. They defeated the Phillies in their first series of the year.
  • Top pitching prospect Amir Garrett made his major league debut and was absolutely dealing. Garrett held the Cardinals to just two hits over six innings.
  • Promising young pitcher Brandon Finnegan was even better. In Finnegan’s first start against the Phillies, he pitched seven innings and gave up just one hit with nine strikeouts.
  • Another pitching prospect, Rookie Davis, made his major league debut and didn’t fare as well. Davis lasted just three innings, giving up four ER against the Phillies.

Pittsburgh Pirates:

  • The Pirates have gotten off to a 2-2 start. They lost two games in Boston to start the season before the finale got rained out.
  • Jameson Taillon was everything advertised and more in his start against the Red Sox. Taillon pitched seven scoreless innings, giving up just five hits with six strikeouts.
  • New full-time closer Tony Watson has converted both of his save opportunities thus far.
  • Ivan Nova pitched well in his first start, shutting out the Braves over six innings.

St. Louis Cardinals:

  • The Cardinals have gotten off to a 2-3 start and lost to the Cubs in the opening series of the season.
  • Carlos Martinez looks as advertised. On opening night, he shut the Cubs out over 7.1 innings, striking out 10 batters.
  • Aledmys Diaz had his first career multi-home run game on Saturday against the Reds.
  • They agreed to a 6-year, $33.5 million extension with starting right fielder Stephen Piscotty, who was involved in a baseball oddity this week, as he was hit three times in the same inning on Tuesday against the Cubs.

Milwaukee Brewers:

  • The Brewers are 2-4 on the young season and lost 3 of 4 to the Rockies to begin the year.
  • Jonathan Villar’s power surge continues, as he’s hit two homers.
  • New catcher Jett Bandy hit his first home run as a Brewer on Saturday night.
  • Claimed Nick Franklin off waivers from the Rays, and he made an instant impact, hitting a home run in his first game with the club on Saturday night.
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