FINALLY! BASEBALL! HAS COME BACK! TO AMERICA!

After months of waiting. Months of speculation and tears (I couldn’t have been the only one) America’s pastime is back, and we were treated to an Opening Day match up between the World Series Champion Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees.

The Nats’ sent their ace, and 3-time Cy Young winner Max Scherzer to the mound, while the Yankees sent the $324M man Gerrit Cole to go up against him. Before the game, players on both teams kneeled in recognition of the social justice movement. The mound was stamped with “BLM”, and many players had patches on their sleeves which read “United For Change” and “Black Lives Matter”. It’s safe to say, the social injustices in the country weigh heavily on the minds of Major League Baseball.

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With no fans in attendance, and the managers and some player wearing masks, Dr. Anthony Fauci threw (blindly tossed) the first pitch, and the game was on. Right away, the Yankees picked right up from where they left off last year as Giancarlo Stanton smacked a towering 459 foot home run off of Mad Max in the first inning to give the Yankees an immediate 2 run lead.

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The Nationals were quick to respond, however, when Adam Eaton hit Cole for a solo home run in the bottom half of the first. It would be the only hit the Nationals would get off of Cole in this 5 inning game. Tyler Wade played a big role in the Yankees win as well, getting the start in place of DJ LeMahieu, who was late to arrive at Spring Training due to COVID. He scored from first on an Aaron Judge double to left, giving the Bombers a 3-1 lead. In the 5th inning, Wade would reach first on a bunt single, placing two runners on with no outs. Giancarlo Stanton registered his third RBI later in the inning with a bases-loaded single.

It was a somewhat weird game for Max Scherzer. On one hand, he struck out 11 in just 5.1 innings and had the Yankees looking foolish at times. Gleyber Torres and Tyler Wade were the only Yankees to not get punched out by Scherzer, with Gary Sanchez and Brett Gardner striking out 3 times each. He did give up 6 hits and 4 walks in the loss however.

Gerrit Cole was everything Yankee fans hoped and prayed he would be. As stated, the first inning home run was the only hit Cole gave up, and he struck out 5 Nationals in 5 innings. His command seemed off at times, but he was still as dominant, throwing 75 pitches, 46 for strikes.

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In the 6th, after a Sanchez strike out and a Luke Voit walk and a Gio Urshela line drive to left to move Voit to third, the game would be delayed due to the insane amount of rain that began to fall on Nationals Park. After a delay of nearly 2 hours, the game would be called, and the Yankees would be declared winners, going 1-0 on this 60 game season.

Featured Photo: MLB

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