The first game of the 2020 MLB season ended in pretty apt fashion.
The opening day matchup between Washington Nationals and New York Yankees was interrupted by a rain delay in the top of the sixth inning. Hours later, the game was officially called as a 4-1 Yankees win.
The storm hitting Nationals Park was downright biblical, with rain flooding the concourses and lightning and dark clouds surrounding the stadium.
The Yankees had been leading 4-1 at the time of the delay, sparked by a first-inning, two-run homer from Giancarlo Stanton. Nationals starter Max Scherzer had been having an up-and-down night, striking out 11 batters but allowing 10 baserunners in 5.1 innings pitched.
Gerrit Cole, the Yankees’ $324 million pitcher, got his first career win with the team with one earned run, an Adam Eaton homer, in five innings pitched with five strikeouts.
Because the game ran longer than five innings, it will count as official.
Funnily enough, the rain and lightning arrived right as ESPN announcers were interviewing MLB commissioner Rob Manfred. The image of Manfred sitting in front of the stadium as lightning visibly struck behind him did an effective job of summing up baseball’s situation in 2020.
MLB’s surreal opening day continues
Baseball’s long-awaited return had already started on the wrong foot due to Nationals star Juan Soto testing positive for COVID-19. That led to concerns about the Nationals playing at all on Thursday considering Soto had played a game with the team the same day he was tested.
MLB still proceeded with its opening day pomp and circumstance, with the Nationals’ World Series celebration, a racial unity demonstration from players, a quick national anthem and a regrettable first pitch from Dr. Anthony Fauci.
Coupling that with the late date, several rule changes and tweaks, the Toronto Blue Jays still not having a home and MLB just announcing the number of playoff teams will give you an opening day unlike any other in baseball history.
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