Patrick Carney Throws Out First Pitch
Carney, drummer for the band ‘The Black Keys’ and an Akron native, had the honor of throwing out the ceremonial first pitch at Progressive Field Tuesday afternoon.
“From the minute I heard the Indians ask me, I said yes,” Carney said. “I never thought they would ask me or (bandmate) Dan [Auerbach] to do it.”
Carney avoided the dirt on the pitch, firing it into Sandy Alomar, Jr. behind the plate.
“It is amazing to get asked to do something like that,” Carney said. “It was cool that my dad got to see it because my dad took me to my first Indians game and got me into the Indians. He is obsessed with the Indians and baseball.”
Man, It Was Cold
The temperature at the time of first pitch was announced as 34 degrees, with a wind chill in the 20s. That is the coldest season opener on record for the Indians. The previous was 36 degrees in 1907.
“We got a chance to come out here yesterday and see what bad weather is really like,” catcher Yan Gomes said.
Yesterday’s Opening Day game was postponed following similar temperatures, but a worse wind chill, and a chance of precipitation.
“The ball hurts when it hits your bat,” 2B Jason Kipnis said in the clubhouse. “You start getting stiff out there on defense. You can’t feel your fingers when you throw the ball and your arm tightens up. You don’t have any blood moving. It’s part of the game.”
“If you want to play late in October it’s going to be a little cold then too, so you’ve got to get used to it and battle through it,” Kipnis added.
Big Papi Adds To Accolades
In the top of the 9th inning, Red Sox DH David Ortiz hit career home run number 504 over the right field wall off of Indians RHP Trevor Bauer on a 2-2 pitch. The HR tied Ortiz with Eddie Murray for 26th on MLB’s all-time list.
Ortiz also doubled in the 3rd inning, picking up his 585th career double, which tied him with Rafael Palmeiro for 17th on MLB’s all-time list.
“He’s smart,” manager Terry Francona said. “He’s dangerous, and I’d wish he’d have retired [last year].”
Ortiz’s legendary status attracted the praise of youngster Francisco Lindor, who played in his first career Opening Day.
“I went over to 2nd base and I told him, ‘This is your last one, are you going to enjoy it?'” Lindor recalled. “And (Ortiz) said, ‘Yeah, man. I’m going to enjoy it, I’m going to have fun.’ As you’ve seen, you saw it today. He’s enjoying it every at-bat, every pitch, and he’s having fun like he’s always done so I’ve got a lot of respect for him.”
Game 1 of 162
After the loss, the Indians moved to 59-57 all-time on Opening Day, and started out the season 0-1. But no one on the team is worried about it.
“We played hard, and we did our best,” SS Francisco Lindor said. “We didn’t come out with the win today, but we have 161 games to go.”
“We’re going to get better,” Kipnis added.
Optimism seemed to extend to the fanbase, with The Black Keys drummer Patrick Carney chiming in on his season prediction after his ceremonial first pitch.
“I mean, I feel good about it,” Carney said. “As my dad says, this is the year, every year, since 1987, since I can remember.”
Lonnie Chisenhall On The Mend
Indians RF Lonnie Chisenhall was placed on the 15-day DL retroactive to March 28th with a right wrist impingement that flared up during spring training.
Before the game, Terry Francona noted that Chisenhall is scheduled to begin a rehab assignment in the minors, starting for Triple-A Columbus on Thursday in right field.
“We just want to make sure that when he comes back, he’s ready to help us,” Francona said. “When you come back, you’re taking somebody’s job. He needs to be ready to help.”
Chisenhall is eligible to return on April 12th, but his return could potentially be delayed a few days if he spends more time in Triple-A.