Yankees up early on Scherzer (Nats fall 4-1 in five innings)

The Nationals celebrated their first world championship with a flag raising in the center field plaza and a hoisting of the 2019 World Series pennant above the video board in right field before tonight's Major League Baseball opener against the Yankees at Nationals Park.

One can only imagine how loud Nats Park would have been in any other season opener with 43,000 fans on their feet to share in the accomplishment.

But this is 2020, and with the world in the throes of the coronavirus pandemic, it's a new, careful and measured celebration for now. The banners are there because the 2019 Nats earned them, and now the 2020 version looks to write a new chapter as they face off against the Yankees.

The Yankees got on the board quickly thanks to a sharp single by Aaron Judge and a two-run mammoth shot to left field by Ginacarlo Stanton off Nats ace Max Scherzer in the first.

Eaton-HR-in-Opener-White-Sidebar.jpgThe Nats quickly answered in the bottom half of the inning with right fielder Adam Eaton launching a soaring home run off a 98 mph fastball from Yankees starter Gerrit Cole.

Scherzer quickly got back on track by striking out the side in the second. He had four strikeouts in a row dating to the end of the first.

Nats first baseman Eric Thames was hit by a pitch to start the second, but the next three Nats then went down in order.

After two innings, the Yankees lead 2-1.

Update I: The Yankees added another run in the third thanks to Judge for a 3-1 lead. His RBI double off Scherzer scored Tyler Wade.

Update II: Scherzer battled through what could have been a disastrous fifth inning. He did allow a bases-loaded single to Stanton, but nothing else. Scherzer has 10 strikeouts through five innings, but Yankees offense has been good, thanks to Stanton and Judge, who have combined to drive in four runs.

The Nationals offense needs to answer the call, but not easy when Cole is on the mound. He has allowed one run through five innings.

After five in D.C., the Yankees lead the Nats 4-1.

Update III: Rain has delayed the game in the top of the sixth at 8:52 p.m., with two men on and one away for the Yankees. Scherzer is at 99 pitches, so if and when the game resumes, his night likely is over.

Update IV: The game was called after rain delay lasting 1 hour, 58 minutes. The Yankees win 4-1. Cole gets the win and Scherzer takes the loss. The Nats were held to one hit.

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