Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out the first pitch back at the Washington Nationals’ home opener, and it was anything but impressive. Hopefully, the season goes a little better than his fastball did.
New York Yankees vs. Washington Nationals
The first game out of the gate was the Yankees and Nationals. Two of the top pitchers in the league faced off in Gerrit Cole and Max Scherzer.
Cole had an impressive performance, only allowing one long ball in the first inning. But the Yankees had a first-inning home run of their own when Giancarlo Stanton took one deep off of Scherzer.
Scherzer gave up four home runs, but there was still much to be impressed with. There were plenty of bad swing and misses that helped rack up his strikeouts.
In the sixth inning, an absolute downpour began. The tarp came out, but they needed more than that to savor the rest of this one. They ended up calling the game, and the Yankees won 4-1.
New York got the start that it needed for a successful season. They have high hopes for a crew full of long-ball hitters that includes their star, Aaron Judge.
San Francisco Giants vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers had the plan of starting their ace, Clayton Kershaw, against their divisional rival. But he had back pain just hours before the game, which resulted in the club placing him on the injured list.
The Dodgers are the favorite to win the World Series this year, and their pitching is a strong point. That is in no small part due to their leader, Kershaw. They will need him healthy to make the full season sprint.
But they didn’t need him in this one. The Giants are in a rebuild and don’t have many pieces that will help them make a postseason run. With a new skipper this year, they hope to improve and create a new culture in San Francisco.
Dustin May stepped in for Kershaw and got the job done from the mound.
“It was nice to get the first one under the belt,” May said following the game. “It was awesome to get the nod. It’s the kind of thing you dream about growing up, throwing on Opening Day. It’s a super exciting thing. It’s great to get the ball going forward, for sure.”
Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts discussed the quick change that needed to happen on the hill for the Dodgers.
“Can’t say enough about Dustin,” Roberts said. “We knew the head, very strong of mind. Obviously, the stuff speaks for itself. I said it earlier, he’s unflappable. He pitched big for us in the playoffs. To kind of get the ambush notice before Opening Day, to be unfazed was special, pretty fun to watch.”
Newcomer Mookie Betts got his first appearance as a Dodger, and after his new contract extension, will have many more to look forward to.