The Bill Chuck Files of March 31, 2019

Each Sunday, in remembrance of my friend Nick Cafardo, I post “the Bill Chuck Files” (named by Nick in his Sunday Baseball Notes column)

  1. There are 15 teams that win on Opening Day, but the one that really mattered was in San Diego as the Padres defeated the Giants, 2-0. It was the first Opening Day win for the Padres since March 30, 2014. But what really made it significant was the victory marked the first time the Friars were over .500 since June 8, 2015.
  2. The Giants lost not only game one of the season, but game two as well. Things are not boding well for Bruce Bochy and his goal for a .500 career. Bochy has managed two teams in his long and Cooperstown-bound career: the Padres with whom he went 951-975 with one pennant, and the Giants, with whom he won three pennants and three World Championships, with a 975-971 record. For Boche to finish his Giants career at .500, the Giants must go 78-84. But for Bochy to end his managerial career with an even .500 record (2,016-2,016), the Giants need to go 90-72 on the season.
  3. A little less conversation, a little more action – I’m waiting for the Blue Jays to get Elvis Luciano into a game. When the righty pitcher takes the pill on the hill he’ll become the first MLB player to have been born in the year 2000 (2/15/2000).
  4. Friday night (and into Saturday morning), the Dodgers and Diamondbacks played a 13-game that lasted 6:05, which sounds like a starting time for an evening game. It was the longest regular season game played at Dodger Stadium. The longest game ever in Chavez Ravine was the 18-inning, 7:20-minute classic played by the Dodgers and Red Sox in Game 3 of the World Series last October. This means that the last two extra-inning games at Dodger Stadium lasted a total of 13 hours and 25 minutes.
  5. From the start of the 2017 season through action on Friday night, there were 249 pinch-homers that were hit. Christian Walker of the Dbacks has hit five to lead the majors. Walker has totaled eight homers in his career.
  6. A.J. Pollock had four hits in his second game as a Dodger, getting them in their marathon loss to the Diamondbacks. This means that Arizona is now 7-0 when Pollock has four hits. They lost when Pollock had five hits.
  7. In case you missed it, on Saturday Kyle Barraclough, the Nationals newly acquired reliever picked up from the Marlins in a trade this offseason, allowed an inherited runner to score before he threw his first pitch. No, it wasn’t a wild pick-off attempt, Barraclough was called for a balk, forcing home a run.
  8. I must still have World Series hangover – In a bit of irony, on Opening Day, the Dodgers scored 12 runs and the Red Sox allowed 12 runs, the most a defending champ has ever allowed in an Opening Game.
  9. The capacity of Marlins Park is 36,742. Now Opening Day, for many teams, represents the best chance for the largest crowd of the season and the Marlins in their opener drew 25,423. That means that when you add the game two “crowd” of 6,503, there would still be room for another 5,000 fans before the park would be filled.
  • Happy to say: Starting this coming Saturday (and each Saturday through the season), thanks to the great Chris DeLuca, I will be returning to the Chicago Sun-Times. It is indeed an honor to just share the stage, in a supporting role, with the likes of Gordon Wittenmyer, Rick Telander, Rick Morrissey, Steve Greenberg, Daryl Van Schouwen, and so many others as “Sports Saturday” becomes a Chicago staple. I look forward to seeing you in the frunchroom.