The 2020 Major League Baseball season is officially back on and Opening Day 2020 was as exciting as ever — even with the empty stadiums. Although a July 23 start is not what is normally expected, a beginning to the season was welcomed nonetheless.
The day would not have been fitting of the 2020 season and all that had led up to it without dramatics however. From last minute injured list (IL) placements and rain delays to questionable Opening Day ceremonial first pitches.
Yesterday’s Opening Day games were played between the defending World Champion Washington Nationals and the New York Yankees, followed by a classic National League West rivalry game between the Los Angeles Dodgers and San Francisco Giants.
First inning bombs by the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton and Adam Eaton of the Nationals set the day’s tone. Yankees pitching ace Gerrit Cole and Nationals star pitcher Max Scherzer not only gave up first inning opening day home runs but also became the second pair of pitchers to have faced off in the previous World Series and proceeding opening day start, according to ESPN’s Matt Vasgersian during ESPN’s Opening Night broadcast.
However, the game was not to last, as heavy rains swept into Yankee Stadium, putting a halt to a 4-1 game which was eventually ruled a 6th inning win for the Yankees, giving them them their first victory of the season. The shortened game only seemed fitting for a shortened season.
Following one of the biggest signings in MLB history between the Los Angeles Dodgers and superstar Mookie Betts on July 22, Dodgers fans found themselves in a bittersweet moment as Dodgers ace and veteran Clayton Kershaw was moved to the IL with back stiffness ahead of his expected Opening Day start. While it may seem like a dim moment that strays from Dodger tradition, the baseball world gets to see a homegrown Dodger talent in Dustin May make a huge start on Opening Day.
May pitched well for four and a third innings, but the Dodgers offense really carried the night. The lineup saw nine different batters with hits, Betts earned his first official hit in Dodger blue and Kiké Hernandez found his flow with a four-hit, five-RBI night.
Perhaps the most dramatic part of the day was Dr. Anthony Fauci’s ceremonial Opening Day first pitch, it was after all one of the first official moments that fans got to see in months. Fauci’s objectively bad pitch definitely rivals rapper 50 Cent’s ceremonial first pitch in 2014 for the New York Mets.
Considering baseball’s rough recent months, it is great to see baseball being played again. July 24 will see a host of games across American and National Leagues.