Baseball’s Opening Weekend


Manny Machado has a lot to live up to after signing a $300 million contract with the Padres last month. (Coutesy of Flickr)

By Anthony Cardone

Oh, how sweet it is to hear the fans cheering, the baseballs hitting the gloves and the memories being made. Baseball has finally returned and what a weekend to kick off the year.

We saw history, walk-offs and amazing plays all in just four days to start the season.

The Phillies swept the Braves this weekend, and Bryce Harper hit his first two home runs with his new team, including an upper deck, 465-foot shot on Saturday. Christian Yelich of the Brewers hit a home run in all four games he played, including a walk-off two-run double to take the series from the Cardinals. Josh Hader pitched an immaculate inning on Friday with nine strikes and three strikeouts. The Cardinals’ new first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt, had a night of his own, hitting three of the four home runs in the series on Saturday to make a statement with his new team.

On the east coast, the Mets and Nationals rivalry continued on Opening Day with a pitching duel between reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer. The Mets came out on top with a 2-0 victory on Thursday, and the two pitchers broke the record for most strikeouts between two pitchers on Opening Day with deGrom recording 10 and Scherzer fanning 12. Pete Alonso, one of the Mets’ top prospects, went 6-10 in the series with three RBI.

On the west coast, the Dodgers and Diamondbacks had an explosive weekend in the scoring department. The Dodgers hit eight home runs on opening day (a new record) and won 12-5. Then, the D-Backs came back the next day to win in extra innings in the longest regular season game at Dodger Stadium. You would think the Dodgers would be tired the next day, but they went to work early and often, winning the game 18-5. Cody Bellinger had four home runs on the series, while Joc Pederson had three and Kike Hernandez had two.

The defending World Series champion Red Sox lost the opening series to the Mariners with Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi and Rick Porcello all giving up five or more runs to a Mariners team that has started 5-1 on the year. Domingo Santana and Tim Beckham were the best players in this series, with Santana now having three home runs and 10 RBI and Tim Beckham going eight for his first 10 with three home runs.

Some surprises so far were the Orioles beating the Yankees two out of three on the road, the Rays taking three out of four from the Astros and the Rangers beating the Cubs in their first series, which included a walk-off wild pitch to close out an 11-10 win on Sunday.

In smaller news, Manny Machado got his first hit as a Padre while White Sox top prospect Eloy Jimenez and Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. got their first career hits.

And that was only one weekend. Baseball is indeed back for sure.