Highlights from Opening Day of the 2023 MLB Season


Image Courtesy of Major League Baseball

By Zachary Lichter

The 2023 Major League Baseball season is underway, with Opening Day on March 30, 2023. All 30 teams played their first game on Opening Day for the first time since 1968. Opening Day action began when the San Francisco Giants played the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. The Giants played the Yankees on Opening Day for the first time since 1956 when the San Francisco Giants were the New York Giants. Yankees right fielder and captain Aaron Judge got the Yankees on the board early when he hit a solo home run in the first inning. Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole recorded 11 strikeouts as the Yankees beat the Giants 5-0.

While the Yankees got their fans excited for what looks like going to be an exciting season for the Bronx Bombers, things could have looked better for the Washington Nationals. The Nationals opened their season against the Atlanta Braves, and things did not go as planned for their starting pitcher, Patrick Corbin. Corbin gave up three runs in the second inning and only pitched three innings. Sadly, the Braves lost their starting pitcher Max Fried in the fourth inning, who suffered left hamstring discomfort. With the players that the Braves have in their lineup, they do look like a team who might potentially return to the postseason in October. As for the Nationals, it is a rebuilding year for them and they still have a chance to improve before the postseason.

Sophomore political science major and sports management and philosophy minor Matthew Cutrona gave his comments about the Braves.

“I have learned after the 2022 season never to count the Atlanta Braves out of making the postseason because of the amount of talent that is in the lineup and in their pitching that is in the major leagues and the minors,” Cutrona said. “While they lost their shortstop Dansby Swanson, they are relying on their prospects Orlando Arcia and Vaughn Grissom to take over, both with strong showings of high potential. I have them slated to win the NL East because, with no knock to my NY Mets, they always find a way to win the division, even if it takes a full 162 games to do so.”

The action on Opening Day continued with starting pitcher Jacob deGrom making his starting debut for the Texas Rangers and facing a familiar foe, the Philadelphia Phillies. The night continued with the Houston Astros having their home opener against the Chicago White Sox and lifting the 2022 World Series banner in Minute Maid Park. The night concluded with Los Angeles Angels starting pitcher and the 2023 World Baseball Classic MVP, Shohei Ohtani taking the mound for the Angels. He pitched six innings; however, the Angels lost to the Oakland Athletics 2-1.

While the action from Opening Day was exciting, MLB debuted some brand-new rule changes to make the game of baseball go faster. The biggest change this season is the pitch clock. Pitchers now have 15 seconds between pitches when the bases are empty and 20 seconds if a runner is on base. If pitchers violate a pitch clock, they get an automatic ball. If a batter commits a pitch clock violation, they get an automatic strike. The purpose of the pitch clock is to make the game shorter by 30 minutes. There is also now a new rule on defensive shifts. Both the second baseman and the shortstop must be on either side of second base. When the pitcher is on the rubber, the four infielders must be on the outer boundary of the infield. Finally, the size of the base has now increased from 15 inches to 18 inches so players can avoid collisions.

Sophomore business exploratory major Henry Escandon gave his comments about the new rules implemented this season.

“I like some of the rules such as the limits on defensive shifts, it makes the game more fun to watch and brings a lot of athleticism back into the game,” Escandon said. “I am not a fan of the pitch clock however, as a pitcher this can be very frustrating and get you off of your rhythm.”

As the weather gets nicer and the season continues, MLB fans everywhere can’t wait to see what lies ahead for their team this season.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *