Baseball is back, and all is right in the world. After last week’s two-game series in Japan between the Mariners and A’s—which felt more like a tease than the start of the season—the rest of the league played its first meaningful games of 2019.
As was expected, the Yankees easily took care of the rebuilding Orioles and we saw an exciting pitcher’s duel between reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Jacob deGrom and runner-up Max Scherzer. Once again, deGrom bested Scherzer despite, naturally, receiving minimal run support.
Bryce Harper, Manny Machado and Paul Goldschmidt played with their new teams for the first time—they each went hitless with multiple strikeouts—and the Dodgers hit eight home runs against Zack Greinke and the Diamondbacks, a new Opening Day record.
Here’s what else happened on Opening Day.
Yankees 7, Orioles 2
After a tight position battle this spring, both of the Yankees’ first basemen made the Opening Day roster. Fittingly, both of them homered in the first game. Luke Voit, who the Yankees got from the Cardinals before the trade deadline last year, showed last season was no fluke when he scorched a three-run blast to dead centerfield in the first inning. Greg Bird struck out in his first three at-bats before launching a solo shot off lefthander Paul Fry in the eighth.
Aaron Judge went 2-for-3 and scored three runs, and every Yankee starter except Brett Gardner had at least one hit.
Mets 2, Nationals 0
Robbie Cano, Don't Cha Know! In his first at-bat with the Mets, Cano showcased his sweet lefty swing and crushed a Max Scherzer changeup that caught too much of plate. It was all the run support deGrom would need. He pitched six shutout innings and struck out 10. Cano drove in the Mets’ other run with a single in the eighth inning.
Brewers 5, Cardinals 4
The Brewers and Cardinals combined for nine runs, all of which happened via the game’s six home runs. Kolten Wong and Harrison Bader went back-to-back in the second inning to put the Cardinals up 3-0. It was the first time in team history that players went back-to-back on Opening Day.
The reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich hit a 3-run HR in the third inning, while Brewers starting pitcher Jhoulys Chacin went 2-for-2 at the plate and hit a HR in his second at-bat to drive in Milwaukee’s fifth and the game’s deciding run.
Wong hit his second homer of the game in the seventh but didn’t get a chance for a third. With two outs in the ninth, Jose Martinez pinch hit for Wong to face devastating lefthander Josh Hader. Martinez roped a fastball to centerfield but Lorenzo Cain lept and robbed him of a game-tying home run.
Phillies 10, Braves 4
Harper was the Phillies’ biggest splash this offseason, but it was another former MVP outfielder who got them on the board in his first game with Philadelphia. Andrew McCutchen crushed a leadoff home run in the bottom of the first inning that traveled a projected 428 feet, according to Statcast. Back at his natural position, first baseman Rhys Hoskins broke the game wide open when he smacked a grand slam in the seventh inning.
Tigers 2, Blue Jays 0
Jordan Zimmerman threw six perfect innings before Teoscar Hernandez led off the seventh with a soft grounder up the middle for the Blue Jays’ first hit. Zimmerman completed seven shutout innings before turning it over to the bullpen. The Tigers didn’t get their first hit off Marcus Stroman until Nicholas Castellanos singled with two outs in the sixth. The game was scoreless until Christin Stewart hit a two-run homer in the top of the tenth inning.
Astros 5, Rays 1
The Astros hit three homers off reigning AL Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell in the first five innings, with George Springer delivering the key blow, a three-run blast to centerfield. Justin Verlander tossed seven innings of one-run ball and struck out nine.
Cubs 12, Rangers 4
Javier Baez smacked two home runs and had four RBI, and Kris Bryant—out to prove last year’s struggles were due to a nagging shoulder injury—hit his first homer of the season. Jon Lester pitched six innings and allowed two runs.
Athletics 4, Angels 0
Mike Fiers allowed one hit across six shutout innings, and Marcus Semien and Khris Davis each hit solo homers as the A’s got their first win of the season after dropping two against the Mariners last week in Japan. Mike Trout went 1-for-3 with a walk.
Rockies 6, Marlins 3
Kyle Freeland looked like the ace he was in his breakout 2018 campaign against the Marlins on Thursday. The lefthander allowed one run on two hits in seven innings of work. Trevor Story hit a home run and David Dahl had three hits.
Twins 2, Indians 0
Jose Berrios out-pitched two-time Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber, who surrendered a two-run double to the newly acquired Marwin Gonzalez in the seventh inning. Berrios completed 7 2/3 innings and allowed two hits while striking out 10.
Padres 2, Giants 0
Padres top prospect Fernando Tatis Jr. wasted no time to show he belongs in the big leagues. He roped a single past the diving Evan Longoria in his first at-bat before bunting for a hit in his next time up. Wil Myers drove in both San Diego runs. He homered off Madison Bumgarner in the third inning and lined an RBI single to centerfield in the sixth.
Reds 5, Pirates 3
Derek Dietrich gave the Reds their first lead with a pinch-hit three-run homer in the seventh inning. The Pirates made it interesting when they loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth. Corey Dickerson, who hit a home run in his previous at-bat, fouled off seven two-strike pitches before grounding out to second to end the game.
Dodgers 12, Diamondbacks 5
The Dodgers hit four home runs off Diamonbacks ace Zack Greinke and then cracked four more off the Arizona bullpen. Los Angeles set a new opening-day record with eight homers. Joc Pederson hit two of them and finished the day 3-for-5 with four RBI.
Royals 5, White Sox 3
It’s never a good sign when a team commits as many errors as it scores runs, but so is life on the South Side of Chicago. The Royals led 5-0 when the White Sox scored three runs in the top of the ninth before Brad Boxberger came with two on and retired Yolmer Sanchez to end the game.
Mariners 12, Red Sox 4
The Mariners are 3-0. After winning their first two games of the season in Japan last week, Seattle scored seven runs off Red Sox ace Chris Sale in the first three innings. Shortstop Tim Beckham launched two home runs, while Domingo Santana, Edwin Encarnacion and Ryon Healy each added another.