Gerrit Cole jokes about ‘one-hitter’ in Yankees debut

Yankees' Gerrit Cole pitches against Nationals on Opening Day
Jul 23, 2020; Washington, District of Columbia, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches against the Washington Nationals in the first inning at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Much of what happened in the nation’s capital Thursday was pretty surreal. The day started with Washington Nationals star Juan Soto being ruled out of his team’s season opener after testing positive for COVID-19.

It just got stranger from there. The Nationals hoisted their World Series banner in an empty stadium with “We are the Champions” blaring in the background. Meanwhile, a masked Dr. Anthony Fauci threw out one horrendous first pitch.

If that weren’t enough, the game was called in the sixth inning due to a combination of rain and lightning.

As Nationals closer Sean Doolittle said, it’s “2020 in a nutshell.” New Yankees pitcher Gerrit Cole seemed to bring some sunshine to the entire situation after giving up one hit (a homer to Adam Eaton) in a 4-1 Yankees win.

Cole is right in that he threw a complete game (five innings) and gave up just that one hit. It was a darn good performance from the reigning AL Cy Young runner-up.

For the $324 million man, it was about darn time he saw regular-season action in the Pinstripes. A gloomy evening in D.C. did not take away from his excitement. That’s for sure.