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The MLB Standouts From Opening Day 2023

Baseball is Back!!! And what a day it was.

The anticipation leading up to Opening Day for me was bigger than Christmas morning and for those that know me, Christmas morning is a huge event for me and my family.

Every fan wants their team to get off to a great start with a win, and we know from many years of experience that an opening day win does not mean we will win 161 more games and go undefeated, but it gives us hope that our team could be there at the end. But as a New York Mets fan, I don’t get my hopes up too high as I just enjoy the good times when they happen. Baseball fans enjoyed some great action in Thursday’s games.

Here are some of the standout players from Opening Day:

Max Scherzer entered 2023 wanting to prove to the Mets faithful that he is much better than how he ended 2022. During the early part of the game, he retired nine straight batters, keeping the Miami Marlins off the board, as the Mets built a 3-0 lead. But in the bottom of the sixth, Scherzer allowed a lead-off double, then a one out RBI double, and after he struck out Jean Segura, Garrett Cooper launched a ball over the center field fence to tie the game at 3-3. But the offense saved their pitcher with two in the top of the seventh and the bullpen shut down the fish offense to secure Scherzer and the Mets opening day victory.  It was a much needed win for both to start the season.

The Atlanta Braves went out in the off-season and made a trade to get catcher Sean Murphy from the Oakland A’s, which would move Travis d’Arnaud from behind the dish and into a platoon/DH role. On Thursday, d’Arnaud proved his worth as he finished 4 for 5, with two runs scored, a double, and two RBIs in leading the Braves to an opening day 7-2 victory over the Washington Nationals.

When it comes to dramatics in baseball, there is no greater team for the theatrics then the New York Yankees. In 2022, Aaron Judge launched himself into the record books with 62 home runs, as he became the only Yankees to reach that feat. Well what does he do on Opening Day? He starts off where he left off last season and hits a mammoth shot over the center field fence for his first of many home runs this year. The Yankees never looked back and they went on to win 5-0 over the San Francisco Giants.

Sticking with the Yankees, Gerrit Cole tossed six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, two walks and struck out 11 batters to earn his first victory on the season. He walked the first batter of the game, then proceeded to strike out the next four batters, before giving up a one out single in the second, then struck out the next two batters to end the second. He dominated in his six innings of work helping to secure the victory.

The ball was being sprayed all over Fenway Park on Thursday, as the Baltimore Orioles and the Boston Red Sox combined for 26 hits and 19 runs. But the standout player on the day was Orioles Adley Rutschman, as he went 5 for 5, a run scored, home run and drove in four runs to help lead the charge to a 10-9 victory over the Red Sox. The awesome performance was an historic event as the Orioles catcher not only achieved the feat on his first ever opening day, but became the first player since 1937 to go 5 for 5 on Opening Day and first catcher since 1900 to have five hits to start the season.

Dansby Swanson left the Atlanta Braves in the offseason and signed a Free Agent contract with the Chicago Cubs and on day one of the season, he quickly made his presence known by collecting three hits in four at bats. The Cubs outlasted the Milwaukee Brewers behind six shutout innings gem from Marcus Stroman, allowing just three hits and striking out eight batters for the victory.

Shane McClanahan, who has won a combined 22 games in his first two big league seasons, tossed six shutout innings, allowing four hits, while striking out six batters to earn the victory for the Tampa Bay Rays.

George Springer became the first player in Toronto Blue Jays history to collect five hits on opening day, and also joined Orioles Rutschman in the history books. Bo Bichette was one hit behind the record as he collected four of his own.

Pablo Lopez started the season on a good note, as he tossed five shutout innings, allowing just two hits, walked three and struck out eight batters, to earn his first victory on the season as the Minnesota Twins took down the Kansas City Royals 2-0.

The defending World Series Champs, the Houston Astros, were bested in game one by the Chicago White Sox behind a stellar performance from starter Dylan Cease. The righty struggled in his five spring starts to a tune of a 7.31 ERA, but he figured it all out for Opening Day and rewarded his skippers decision by tossing 6.1 innings of 2-hit baseball, allowing just one earned run, no walks and struck out 10 batters.  He didn’t get the victory, but he kept his team in the game, which allowed them to pull out the win with three runs in the last two innings to beat the ‘Stros 3-2.

C.J. Cron enjoyed a great start to his season as he collected four hits, which included two home runs, and drove in five runs. The San Diego Padres never saw what hit them as the Colorado Rockies put up seven runs in seven innings, while out hitting the Padres 17-7, with the game being played in San Diego. Rockies shutdown the powerful Padres offense with a 7-2 opening day victory.

The story of Opening Day in Oakland, was supposed to be the dominating expected performance by Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani and he lived up to the bill as he tossed six shutout innings, allowing just two hits, and struck out 10 batters. The unfortunate part is the Angels couldn’t muster up much offense for their two-way player and dropped the opening day game to the Athletics 2-1.

James Outman hit his first Dodgers Stadium home run on his first Opening Day game of his career to help lead Los Angeles to an 8-2 victory over the Arizona D-Backs. Outman finished the day 2 for 3, with three runs scored and two RBIs.  Los Angeles also got a big day from catcher Will Smith as he went 3 for 4, with four RBIs and starter Julio Urias, as he tossed six innings, allowing two runs on four hits, while striking out six batters to earn the victory.

Luis Castillo turned in an absolute gem by tossing six shutout innings, allowing just one hit, with no walks and struck out six batters. Last seasons trade that brought Castillo to the Seattle Mariners can be a great move for the franchise if he continues to dominate games. All he will need is a solid offense when he pitches and he saw some of that as Ty France finished 3 for 4, hitting his first home run on the season, while driving in all there runs in the 3-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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