April 3, 2021

1. Jake Arrieta makes his return to the Cubs today

The beard. The 2015 Cy Young. Two no-hitters. Game 6 of the 2016 World Series. And after a three-year sojourn in Philadelphia, he comes back — pitching at Wrigley today at 2:20 ET.

2. A cat broke loose at Coors Field last night

The empty-stadium era is over, the eviction notices are being sent — thoughts and prayers for the cat community, who might just be coming down from their greatest ever year.

3. The Houston Astros are still playing dirty

If anyone thought they’d undergone some moral atonement — well:

4. Trevor Bauer had a no-hitter going, and then…

The $102-million man, debuting with his hometown Dodgers. Ten strikeouts, a no-hitter going, a 10–0 lead. No eyes closed.

And then, the seventh inning. The no-no broken up by a fellow Trevor. Two home runs. Four runs. Bauer out. The Rockies hitting two more homers and batting around. The lead cut to 10–6.

5. It was a landmark day for bunting

First came the behind-the-back bunt, in the Tulane/Memphis NCAA game:

And then, a picture-perfect bunt to beat the shift. Listen to Buck Showalter on the broadcast, he’s practically moaning:

“Agghhh… please, I’ve gotta leave for a little while, that’s special…”

6. Pitch of the day: Chaz Roe

He’s playing frisbee “while the rest of us are playing checkers” — as they say.

7. The Entire Mets-Nationals series was postponed (COVID)

The Lindor debut delayed. The Steve Cohen era delayed. Mets fans not happy.

8. A White Sox rookie went 5–5 in his first career start

9. The Rays had a wild comeback win in the 9th inning

One out in the ninth, down by two, and then: single, single, home run, triple, sac fly. And a 2–0 start to the year, for the defending American League champs.

10. Photo of the day: Fernando Tatis Jr.

The lead-up to the hug — could’ve ended very differently:

11. Anthony Rizzo talks about having fans back at Wrigley Field

You can hear him just at the edge of getting a bit choked up:

12. Means, Mancini, and a big Opening Day for the Orioles

Starter John Means retired his last 18 batters in a row, 7.0 IP, one hit, no runs:

And then, the emotional return of Trey Mancini, after missing the 2020 season with colon cancer:

13. Someone go find Saltalamacchia and Grudzielanek

The 20-letter baseball name guys might need a whole team to themselves. Their own flag. A nation unto themselves. Declare independence — raise statues of Isringhausen, Stottlemyre, Hollandsworth, Van Landingham.

14. Fan interactions sans autographs in the time of COVID

Kids at the ballpark, smiling for photos in the front row. We’re not back back yet, but — things are starting to feel semi-normal again.

If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, send me a DM on Twitter. I’ll be doing them all year, to package the best highlights and stories from around the league — and to make baseball easier and quicker to follow. I’ll likely start an email list soon, or a Patreon, and would appreciate any and all feedback and support 🙏

Twitter: @bbletter



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