Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Tanner Scheppers #52 of the Texas Rangers throws the first pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies in the first inning during the MLB Opening Day game at Globe Life Park in Arlington on March 31, 2014 in Arlington. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Call it what you want. Call it not being able to perform in a big moment, or just call it a bad day. Whatever you want to call it, Tanner Scheppers struggled in a big way on Monday as he became just the second pitcher since World War II to make his first career start on Opening Day.
It's a day that Scheppers will never forget, but he said he'd like to. And can you blame him?
Early on in the second inning, it became apparent Scheppers was all over the place, as he kept the ball high and was routinely missing his spots. He paid dearly, giving up seven runs in four innings of work while walking three and fanning two. He got through the first inning unscathed on just 10 pitches, but it was all downhill from that point.
And it wasn't just Scheppers. Pretty much everyone the Rangers turned to struggled to find control, and more importantly struggled to get the shutdown inning after the Rangers' offense battled back time and time again, even getting the lead at one point after falling down 6-0 in the second inning.
If you want to write off Scheppers, that's fine. But just remember, it was his first start with the pageantry and pomp of Opening Day, and he was better than Cliff Lee if you look at the numbers. Also, consider Yu Darvish's first career start. Go back and look at it, and you won't be impressed.
The good thing for Scheppers, who may or may not be in the rotation all season, is that the day is past him and he can look ahead to his next start.
His favorite part of the day?
"That it's over?" Scheppers told reporters after the game.
That's the great thing about baseball in April (or March). Come Tuesday night, Monday will be all but forgotten.