Opening Day in 2020 was the most awaited Opening Day in MLB history! The reason for this is easy and simple. Covid-19 pushed baseball back several months and this is the longest time fans have been without baseball in their life. From Mike Trout to wearing masks, check out some amazing sights from the well awaited Opening Day!
Yankees v. Nats (First MLB Game)
The first MLB game of the 2020 60 game season started off with the Nationals and the Yankees in Washington D.C. Everything started off well as baseball fans were happy to hear the crack of the bat, with both Giancarlo Stanton and Adam Eaton hitting home runs in the 1st inning. Things then turned disappointing during the top of the 6th inning, when a monsoon came down in Nationals Park. After waiting multiple hours for the heavy rain and lightning to clear up, the game was officially ended. Since the game was in the 6th inning, which passed the 5 inning mark, the game didn't get postponed and instead ended with the Yankees winning 4-1. This wasn't a good start to the season as all MLB fans expected a full 9 inning game. On the positive side of things, we did see great pitcher performances during the 5 full innings played. Gerrit Cole ended the game with a win allowing one run, which was on one hit, 5 strikeouts and a walk in his Yankees debut. Even though Scherzer was handed a loss after giving up 4 runs, he did get an amazing 11 strikeouts in 5 innings! Rain or shine, the Yankees won the first game of the season!
Cespedes Is Back!
For many MLB fans and especially Mets fans, to see Cespedes healthy is a miracle. It has been 2 years since fans have seen Cespedes play. The exact date of July 20, 2018. Cespedes has dealt with a handful of injuries the last few years, including a foolish injury on his ranch, in which he stepped into a hole after an interaction with a wild boar. With the 2020 MLB season pushed back because of the coronavirus, Cespedes had a lot of time to recover and indeed he did. So let's fast forward to Opening Day, where Mets fans couldn't believe their eyes! Cespedes was healthy and in the Opening Day lineup batting 5th as a DH. Even better, Cespedes hit a home run in his return!
If you don't know who Cespedes is, Cespedes is known for his home run slugging skills and also his slow base running. Cespedes is a 2 time All Star and Home Run Derby Champion, as well as a Gold Glover and Silver Slugger. Cespedes probably won't play the field at all this season because of his injury risk. If Cespedes had no injury concerns, he would be one of the best outfielders with his strong arm. Obviously the Mets can't take the risk of having him in the outfield. We will see how long Cespedes stays healthy, but what a sight it was to see Cespedes hit a home run after 2 years of not being in the lineup! If Cespedes stays healthy, the Mets can easily have one of the best home run hitting duos: Alonso and Cespedes. Having Cespedes healthy will play a big effect on the mets. We already saw it happen on Opening Day against the Braves because Cespedes had the only Mets run. Without Cespedes' home run on Opening Day, the Mets might have lost because it would have been a 0-0 game.
The New Extra Inning Rule Was In Action!
The Athletics v. Angels game went into extra innings. This was the first extra innings game of the season and that means this was the first time the new MLB rule was used. The new MLB rule is a rule in which each team begins extra innings with a runner on second base. The runner placed on second base at the start of each half-inning shall be the player (or a substitute for such player) in the batting order immediately preceding that half-inning's leadoff hitter. This was put to the test in the Angels v. Athletics game and it worked pretty well. While you may think it is easy to score a run with a runner on second and no outs, the Angels didn't get a run. On the other hand, the Athletics made very good use of the new extra innings rule by loading the bases. With the bases loaded, the Angels brought in an outfielder so there would be 5 infielders and 2 outfielders. This did not help at all as Matt Olson hit a walk off grand slam on Opening Day!
Hendricks Provides The Important Win!
In a well needed win on the first game of the season against the NL Central rival Brewers, Kyle Hendricks showed up! Usually on Opening Day, pitchers are limited, but that didn't stop Hendricks from pitching a complete game. Hendricks recorded 9 strikeouts while giving up 3 hits and zero earned runs. The NL Central is one of the closest divisons in baseball, and this win propels the Cubs one step closer than the Brewers. The Cardinals, Reds, Brewers or Cubs can all win the NL Central, and it will come down to the divisional games this season. What better game to have Hendricks pitch a complete game than in a divisional game against the Brewers.
Shane Bieber Carries The Indians!
Shane Bieber who is a Cy Young Favorite headed into the season, showed what damage he can do during his Opening Day start. Bieber pitched 6 innings, giving up 4 hits and no earned runs, while booking an amazing 14 strikeouts.
The Red Sox Dominate!
Yes, it is the Baltimore Orioles, but still, a very impressive win! The Red Sox recorded 8 doubles in the game which was the most in an Opening Day game since the 1936 Pirates. Even more impressive, the Red Sox 13 runs came on no home runs. I guess the Red Sox could still dominate without Mookie!
Isaac Edelman covers the South Florida sports teams and the Mets as well as other breaking news stories and opinions on Major League Baseball, the NBA, NFL, and the NHL on his SportsCastr live streaming channel.
Some Great Home Runs From Opening Day!
Giancarlo Stanton hits the first MLB home run in 2020, off of Max Scherzer!
Mike Moustakas hits a home run in his Reds debut!
The Phillies offense excluding one player was asleep the whole night against the Marlins. That one player is Didi Gregorius, as he hit a home run and went 2 for 3 in his Phillies debut!
Cavan Biggio takes Charlie Morton deep!
What better way to start off the 60 game season than to hit a home run on the first pitch of the season! This wasn't Max Kepler's only home run as he finished the night with 2!
Not bad for a 36 year old! Joey Votto goes deep.
Jesus Aguilar, former Home Run Derby 1st seed, books the Marlins first home run of 2020!
Gerrit Cole only gave up one hit, but that happened to be a home run off the bat of Adam Eaton!
Kyle Seager takes the reigning AL Cy Young deep!
Yoshitomo Tsutsugo's first MLB hit is a home run off of Hyun-jin Ryu!
Yoan Moncada hits an absolute bomb!