If they have base-running clinics at the Jack Cust Baseball Academy, Emil Brown really shouldn't be allowed to teach them.
After Brown lined a run-scoring double to right-center in the tenth inning off Jonathan Papelbon, he inexplicably got himself stranded between second and third base. He walked into the tag, clearly shamed. So instead of having one out and a runner in scoring position, Oakland had two outs and nobody on base. They trailed Boston 6-5.
And then Bobby Crosby singled.
And then Jack Hannahan singled.
Kurt Suzuki eventually ended the game with a ground out.
Athletics Nation sums up the MLB opener nicely, in a single sentence:
"If you actually did it, and woke up at 3 AM, you saw a great game right up until the ninth inning."
Papelbon and Huston Street both struggled, allowing a combined six hits and four earned runs in 2.2 innings. Manny Ramirez went 2-for-5 with four RBIs, and his double in the top of the tenth gave Boston a lead they tried to relinquish, but couldn't.
A few other notes from an obscenely early Opening Day:
* JD Drew is in mid-season form. That is to say, he's already hurt. He was a late scratch due to tightness in his back. Brandon Moss started in his place, and all he did was tie the game in the ninth with a home run off Street. Moss hit .282/.363/.471 at Pawtucket last season, at age 23. There's no real speed there, but he did hit 16 HR.
* Nobody lingers at home plate admiring doubles quite as stylishly as Manny Ramirez. Basically any well-hit ball to centerfield seemed to die at the track today, and no hitter was fooled as comically (or as inconsequentially) as Manny.
* The game's only stolen base belonged to Kurt Suzuki. But he only stole 10 bases in 314 minor league games, so that's nothing to get too excited about.
* Oakland third baseman Jack Hannahan went 2-for-4 with a sixth inning homer off Kyle Snyder. As we mentioned yesterday, Hannahan is only owned in one-tenth of one percent of fantasy leagues. He should really be on someone's roster in any AL-only format.
* If you're wondering whether Daisuke Matsuzaka will still go on the occasional wildness binge, check the Yahoo! box score play-by-play from the bottom of the first:
- M. Ellis homered to deep left center
- D. Barton walked
- J. Cust hit by pitch, D. Barton to second
- D. Barton to third, J. Cust to second on wild pitch
- E. Brown walked
Matsuzaka walked five batters on Tuesday, struck out six, and threw 95 pitches in five innings.
* Keith Foulke pitched a perfect eighth inning for Oakland, and he faced the heart of Boston's lineup. He retired Youkilis and David Ortiz on looong, well-hit outs, then struck out Manny, who immediately giggled.