There was a near no-hitter that turned into a loss for the Dodgers and a "Gnome Opener" in Chicago that the White Sox lost, but the biggest story of Friday in Major League Baseball was the season-ending injury systained by Chicago Cubs OF Kyle Schwarber.
Schwarber, playing left field Thursday night in Arizona, collided and got tangled up with Cubs CF Dexter Fowler in the 2nd inning of their 14-6 win over the Diamondbacks.
Schwarber went down immediately, in obvious pain, and didn't get back up as Cubs and Diamondbacks trainers ran out to attend to the 23 year-old the Cubs were counting on as part of their talented core group of young stars.
Schwarber completely tore his ACL and LCL in his left knee and also severely sprained his left ankle in the collision. The Cubs confirmed those injuries Friday and also confirmed that Schwarber will miss the remainder of the season as a result of the injuries.
Cubs manager Joe Maddon, who nursed Schwarber and the Cubs other young talent through rookie seasons last year that saw the Cubs reach the playoffs, was sick for his young catcher/outfielder.
"A young man in his sophomore season in the big leagues," Maddon said, "one of the most refreshing and talented in all of Major League Baseball. Now to be out for the rest of the season, it's not easy."
Schwarber will have surgery in a couple of weeks once the swelling goes down and the complete damage can be determined. Cubs GM Theo Epstein was asked whether the injury may derail Schwarber's ability to catch again in the future.
"It all depends how the surgery goes and how well the rehab goes," Epstein said. "If everything goes the way we want it to go with the surgery and the rehab and he comes out the other side with full range of motion, there's a chance it won't impact him at all going forward."
Elsewhere on Friday:
Dodgers rookie manager Dave Roberts made the decision to remove Dodgers rookie starting pitcher Ross Stripling after Stripling walked the Giants Angel Pagan in the 8th inning. Stripling hadn't given up a hit Friday night but he had reached 100 pitches on ball four to Pagan.
Reliever Chris Hatcher immediately gave up a hit and the lead a batter after Stripling was removed when the Giant's Trevor Brown homered off Hatcher to tie the game. The Giants won it on a walk off home run by Brandon Crawford.
As to removing Stripling, Roberts told reporters afterward that the decision as easy.
"We made that decision before the game," Roberts said. "The most he threw in spring was 70 pitches. He's coming off Tommy John. He threw 70 innings last year so at 100 pitches, that was our number. Obviously he has a no-hitter and we have a 2-0 lead. I think for me, the bigger question is, I was really contemplating, should I send him out there for the eighth with 91 pitches."
In Chicago, the White Sox opened their home season with snow squalls and flurries and a 7-1 loss to the Indians. Danny Salazar got the win for Cleveland and Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes each drove in two runs a piece. John Danks was the loser for the White Sox.
The Tigers, Orioles and Pirates are still perfect on the season while the Twins and Phillies are still searching for their first win in 2016.