LEAD OFF

The Brewers were seeing Red yesterday afternoon. The comeback kids from 2010 picked up right where they left off last year as the Reds put together a four-run bottom of the ninth capped off by a three-run walkoff home run by catcher Ramon Hernandez for a 7-6 win and another improbable comeback. The Reds’ first six wins of 2010 were in their final at-bat and also won the NL Central title on a Jay Bruce walkoff shot late in the year.

A lot of experts have the Brewers stepping ahead of the Reds this year for the division title, but the defending NL champs apparently did not use up all of their magic on last season.

How bad was it for Brewers closer John Axford? He gave up four earned runs in 0.2 innings, easily his worst outing of his young career. The right-hander from Canada only gave up more than one run in a game once last year and that was only two runs on September 28 against the Mets. He gave up more than that yesterday in one pitch.

NOTABLE DEBUTS

Brandon Belt, 1B, Giants:1-for-3, BB, K

Nate Adcock, RP, Royals: 1.0 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0  BB, 0 K

WHAT AN ENCORE

Jason Heyward apparently loves Opening Day. He homered for the second straight year in his first at-bat of the season. The Braves second year phenom became just the second player in MLB history to homer in his first at-bat on his team’s opening game his rookie year and the following year. Kazuo Matsui was the other with the Mets in 2004 and ’05. Matsui never lived up to any kind of expectations, but Heyward should be on his way to a big year.

QUESTION:

Including his game-winning blast, Hermandez had four hits for the Reds. Who was the last Reds player to record four hits on Opening Day? Scroll down for answer.

PITCHING DUEL

In a game for the baseball purist, Clayton Kershaw and Tim Lincecum locked into a pitching duel in Dodger Stadium. Kershaw got the better of Timmy this time with 7.0 shutout innings, one walk and nine strikeouts while picking up the win in a 2-1 game. Could Kershaw be on his way to a Cy Young like I predicted? I know, it’s extremely early, but not a bad way to start the season.

INSIDE THE BOXSCORE

Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez hit back-to-back home runs for the Brewers to lead off the game, becoming the first team in 42 years to open the season with back-to-back long balls.

ANSWER:

Paul O’Neill went 4-for-4 with a double, home run and three RBIs on Opening Day 1989. O’Neill’s big day led the Reds to a 6-4 victory over the Dodgers at Riverfront Stadium.

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