MLB’s 2020 season has finally begun, nearly four months after it was initially scheduled to start. Understandably, as the entire world gripped in a pandemic, this year’s season didn’t go to plan. And for several months, looked like it may not happen at all due to the stalemate by owners and the MLBPA. But players wanted to play, starting a social media campaign of ‘when and where?’ A 60 game schedule was implemented by Rob Manfred, the MLB commissioner, spring training 2.0 or summer camp began 3 weeks ago, and here we are with the first pitch of 2020 being between the New York Yankees and the defending champions, the Washington Nationals.
The delay was possibly the most beneficial to the Yankees, given the last article I wrote was about the latest rash of injuries to the roster. Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Aaron Hicks, all would’ve missed the original opening day roster, but found themselves healthy for the new date.
Opening Day still had its hiccups. Nationals star Juan Soto tested positive for Covid-19 and will be unable to play for an indefinite amount of time. Additionally Clayton Kershaw, the starting pitcher for the second game of the season, was put on the IL due to an issue with his back.
But shortly after 7PM EST, Max Scherzer threw the first pitch of the 2020 season. In a stadium with no fans, several more remote cameras than usual, and crowd sounds played over the PA system. An odd setting, but one every team will have to deal with. And it didn’t take long for the Yankees to get on the board. Top of the first, Judge singled and two batters later, Stanton hit the first home run. A 459 foot blast to the back row of the empty bleachers.
The Nationals would answer back with Adam Eaton hitting a solo homer of his own and cutting the deficit in half. However, Judge would hit a double allowing Tyler Wade to score from first in the top of the third, and with the bases loaded in the top of the fifth, Stanton would drive in another run to increase the Yankees lead to 4-1. This would be the final score as the game was called after a lengthy rain delay starting in the top of the sixth.