Opening Day takeaways: Can we believe what we just saw?
2:46 AM ET
Welcome back, baseball. We missed you.
Opening Day 2019 featured 15 games, sunny weather (except in Kansas City), good pitching and plenty of home runs and strikeouts. In other words, baseball in 2019 is going to look a lot like baseball in 2018. There were five shutouts, but despite one-third of the games including a zero, players homered once every 19.9 at-bats — higher than last year’s rate of once every 29.6 at-bats.
Let’s take a quick snapshot of each game and ask one big question to take away from it:
What if Jacob deGrom gets better? As expected, deGrom and Max Scherzer, 1-2 in last year’s National League Cy Young voting, locked up in a great duel. deGrom fanned 10 in six scoreless innings, and Scherzer struck out 12 and allowed two hits in 7⅔ innings. It was just the second time opposing Opening Day starters both reached 10 strikeouts, matching the feat accomplished by Sam McDowell and Dave McNally in 1970. Scherzer’s one mistake: a first-inning changeup that Robinson Cano hit out to left-center in his first at-bat with the Mets, matching the number of home runs hit off Scherzer’s changeup in all of