An opening day battle between two star pitchers was an amazing sight to see, as it meant that baseball was finally back. Max Scherzer and Gerrit Cole squared off in a rain-shortened game on Thursday between the Nationals and the Yankees. The game was stopped during the sixth inning, and the Yankees earned the 4-1 victory powered by Cole's dominant outing in the first game of the three-game series between the two teams.
Gerrit Cole held the Nationals in check throughout the game, but New York's bats roused the team before the Nationals even got to hit. Nationals pitcher Max Scherzer was able to retire Aaron Hicks on a groundout before the massive frame of Aaron Judge stepped into the batter's box. Judge hit a single into left field, advancing to second on a Gleyber Torres groundout. With two outs in the inning, Giancarlo Stanton brought him home with a towering two-run home run to put the Yankees on the board. To hear the play-by-play coverage of the entire game, make sure to click the link below.
The Nationals needed a quick response after the Stanton home run, and they got one in the bottom of the first inning with an Adam Eaton solo home run. Eaton's blast to right field put the Nationals within one run of New York, but that was as close as they would get for the rest of the day. Max Scherzer was inconsistent throughout the day, and the star-studded New York lineup added on two more runs, one in the third on an Aaron Judge double, and one in the fifth on a Giancarlo Stanton single. Scherzer struck out 11 in the defeat, using an aggressive tactic even against some of the game's best hitters. Scherzer had four walks and six hits allowed as well, and he threw 99 pitches over the course of the outing. Gerrit Cole, on the other hand, was lights-out. After the Eaton home run, Cole didn't allow a hit, and an Asdrubal Cabrera walk was his only other mistake during the outing.
Yankees vs. Nationals was one of two games going on on Thursday, the other game being Dodgers vs. Giants. The two teams will square off on Saturday and again on Sunday. The return of baseball has generated many positive reactions from fans, and no matter what happens in future games, baseball fans will certainly be ecstatic to see games once again.