MLB Awards: Opening Week

Ichiro Suzuki AB 2010

It has been great to have baseball back on our screens. There has already been a plethora of storylines, and each week we will highlight some of the top performances from defensive magic to genius pitching.

The first few days of the MLB season had overreactions all over the shop. That’s baseball, though, and it is always amusing to watch some of those hot takes look distinctly chilled within a few days.

Here are a few of the best bits from the opening week of the 2018 season…

 

Defensive Play of the Week

It’s impossible not to be wrapped up in the romanticism of Ichiro Suzuki’s return to Seattle. A spell with the Marlins saw the Japanese superstar notch a few more records, extending his career back on the west coast is a perfect next step.

Ichiro scaled the left field wall at Safeco Field to nab a home run off Cleveland Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez. The athleticism would be impressive from a 22-year-old, let alone a player in their age-44 campaign.

 

Performance of the Week

Andrew McCutchen had a troubling first series with the San Francisco Giants. A couple of outfield misplays were accompanied by a poor series with the bat against the Dodgers, but the former Pittsburgh Pirate turned it around dramatically with a magical display at AT&T Park on Saturday night.

McCutchen notched a career-high six hits and launched a 14th inning walkoff home run to announce himself to the Giants crowd in the most dramatic possible way. You couldn’t dream up a better first homer for your new club.

 

Nightmare Performance 

Giancarlo Stanton got off to a flying start as a New York Yankee. Every hitter has down days, we saw that the recently acquired outfielder is not immune to the Yankee Stadium boos. The impatient crowd were less than impressed to see the reigning National League MVP strikeout five times.

Stanton has hit three homers with seven RBIs during his first week or so in the Big Apple. Days don’t get much worse than his 0 for 5 showing, though.

 

Start of the Week

Jose Berrios‘ three-hit shutout against the Baltimore Orioles was overshadowed by the pettiness surrounding the bunt hit in the ninth. The Minnesota Twins’ comments after the game were met with widespread ridicule, but Berrios showed ace-like stuff during his complete game gem.

The 23-year-old Puerto Rican has a big role to play if the Twins are to return to the playoffs this year. He could be on for a real breakout season if this start is anything to go by.

Honourable mentions go to Johnny Cueto and Patrick Corbin in this category.

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