Nationals' Max Scherzer against the Dodgers during 2019 NLDS
Oct 7, 2019; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer (31) reacts after the last out of the top of the seventh inning against the Los Angeles Dodgers in game four of the 2019 NLDS playoff baseball series at Nationals Park. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

It was noted earlier this week that the New York Yankees were likely going to take part in the opening of the 2020 MLB season.

That’s now all but confirmed. At the very least, if the season does get going amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Yankees-Nationals to open 2020 MLB season in D.C.

According to Joel Sherman and Andrew Marchand of the NY Post, New York will travel to the nation’s capital to take on the defending World Series champions. The initial game of a doubleheader to kick off the season will pit new Yankees starter Gerrit Cole against Max Scherzer.

Cole signed a huge contract with the Yankees during the winter after finishing second in the AL Cy Young voting as a member of the Houston Astros last season. Scherzer is a three-time Cy Young winner and helped lead Washington to its first ever World Series last season.

This all sounds so great. A refreshing change in the landscape of a sports world that has been suspended during the ongoing pandemic.

With that said, there’s still a lot of work to be done.

2020 MLB expects to open July 23 amid growing COVID-19 crisis

The backdrop here is a pandemic that is sweeping across the United States like a wildfire. States such as California, Arizona, Texas and Florida have seen a record number of cases in recent days.

Over the course of the past week, the United States as a whole has had three days with the highest number of COVID-19 cases since the pandemic swept across the nation this past winter.

The overriding hope here is that we get to see these two World Series contenders and two of the best pitchers in baseball do battle in the nation’s capital in less than a month.

It would be a refreshing change and a return to some sense of normalcy.