Juan Soto hits in the first game for the Nationals and the Braves lose despite hitting four home runs against Max Scherzer

The Nationals were finally able to return to the field on Tuesday, after a five-day delay due to COVID-19 issues. They had to open their season understaffed, but still, it was good that they had their home fans on hand for the first time since they won the 2019 World Series.

They even raised the banner of the 2019 World Series champions again for the benefit of the roughly 5,000 fans in attendance. A good time that would have been much better in front of a full house in 2020, but hey, in its day we appreciate good times as they come.

Unfortunately for the Nationals fans in attendance, the Braves weren’t caught in the moment. Fortunately for the Nationals fans in attendance, the Nats had the last laugh. They would win easily to crown a wild game.

First, Ronald Acuña rudely greeted the first pitch he saw from Nationals ace Max Scherzer (and the Nationals’ first pitch of the season):

That was not cheap. Nor was it Freddie Freeman’s throw later in the inning, nor was it Dansby Swanson’s throw to open the second, nor was Acuna’s second home run of the game to start the third.

Notably, this is the third consecutive season that Scherzer has allowed a home run in the first inning on Opening Day. In 2019, it was Robinson Cano of the Mets, last season it was Giancarlo Stanton of the Yankees, how could we forget that game after the extended delay to start the year? – and then this time it was Acuña and Freeman. Not only that, but Scherzer had allowed four home runs in the game. This is only the third time in his career that it happens.

  • On April 3, 2011, the Yankees hit him four. That was before Max’s first stint when he was in Detroit and those Yankees would lead the league in home runs.
  • On May 6, 2016, the Cubs reached four. I think we all remember the 2016 Cubs.

These Braves also have a powerful offense. And keep in mind the long delay before Scherzer had a competitive season on the mound.

Still, the Nationals never left. They scored two runs in the second and Trea Turner tied it in the third with a two-run shot. They fell behind in seventh, but tied for eighth. Then, in the ninth, Victor Robles hit a single before Turner was hit by a pitch, clearing the way for who else? – Juan Soto. He walked with a single to center field.

It’s pretty safe to say it was worth the wait for the Nationals and their fans. What a crazy game. Meanwhile, the Braves fall to 0-4 despite hitting four home runs off Max Scherzer.

These two teams will fight again on Wednesday for a doubleheader.

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