Article by: Zach Henley
After a long off-season and exciting spring training, baseball is finally back. On Thursday, all 30 teams were in action and it was electrifying. Teams who were buyers in the off-season have the chance to show off their new acquisitions, and it's a brand-new start for teams who are in a “win now” state of mind.
The action-packed day started with reigning NL Cy Young award winner Jacob deGrom and his Mets as they took on the Cy Young runner up Max Scherzer and the Nationals. The Nationals are starting a new era without MVP Bryce Harper, who signed with Philadelphia before spring training. deGrom went lights out, striking out 10 in 6 innings pitched, and allowing no runs. Scherzer also played well, striking out 12 in 7 innings pitched, but allowed two runs. Robinson Cano hit the first home run of the new season in the first inning and drove in both runs for the Mets in their 2-0 win.
In the National League Central, the Brewers and Cardinals squared off. Christian Yelich started the season the way he left it last season. The MVP winner hit a homerun and drove in three of the five runs for the Brew Crew. Pitcher Jhoulys Chacin also hit a homerun to help seal the deal for Milwaukee. In his first game with the Cardinals, Paul Goldschmidt went hitless and drawled one walk. In the ninth inning, Jose Martinez of the Cardinals almost tied the game, but center fielder Lorenzo Cain robbed him of the homer and won the game for the Brewers.
Perhaps one of the most anticipated games of the day was happening in the city of brotherly love. Bryce Harper was making his exciting debut, as the Phillies took on current NL East champions Atlanta Braves. Aaron Nola took the mound along with the new look Phillies and they started showing their positive changes fast. Andrew McCutchen, Maikel Franco, and Rhys Hoskins all homered and the biggest coming in the seventh. After walking Harper, who went hitless in his debut, the bases were loaded for Rhys Hoskins. The slugger found a pitch he liked and hit a grand slam to increase the run total to 10.
Overall, opening day showed that baseball back and it is still relevant. From dominant pitching to exploding offenses, baseball is more exciting than it has been in 5 years. New teams showed that they deserve to be talked about and could be potential playoff teams. The season is still relatively fresh, but predictions can be made just based on one day.
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