WASHINGTON, DC - JULY 23: Giancarlo Stanton #27 of the New York Yankees celebrates with Aaron Judge #99 after hitting a two run home run to center field against Max Scherzer #31 of the Washington Nationals during the first inning in the game at Nationals Park on July 23, 2020 in Washington, DC.
(Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

New York Yankees ace Gerrit Cole was credited with a complete game and Giancarlo Stanton shone in the first game of the 2020 season.

The New York Yankees and reigning World Series champion Washington Nationals welcomed baseball back, and the Yankees came out on top. Baseball fans didn’t feel completely satisfied since the game only went 5.1 innings, but at least meaningful games are back on.

Giancarlo Stanton, who was the first designated hitter in an NL-hosted regular-season game ever, had himself a night, clobbering a 459-foot two-run home run in the first and recording an RBI single in the fifth.

He looked like the Stanton that won the 2017 NL MVP Award and appears to be hungry for the AL Comeback Player of the Year Award.

We can’t ignore the long-awaited debut of starting pitcher Gerrit Cole, however. Cole didn’t look as dominant as he has in the past, but he was credited with a complete game and allowed just one hit, a solo shot in the first to right fielder Adam Eaton.

He allowed just one walk after that and struck out four batters. Juan Soto’s absence from the lineup after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier on Thursday was felt.

Aaron Judge also had a good night, recording a single, an RBI double, and scoring a run.

Tyler Wade displayed good patience in the third for which he was awarded a walk and went on to score from first on Judge’s double. He showed off his speed again in the fifth, recording a single on a bunt ground ball.

Nationals ace Max Scherzer struck out a whopping 11 batters, but the Yankees lineup was able to do enough damage. Cole didn’t look as sharp as usual but was successful in preventing the Nationals from having a productive offensive night.

Leen has written about the MLB, NBA, NFL, NHL, and international soccer. She is currently the primary NHL writer for ESNY. Leen's work has been featured on Bleacher Report and she was formerly a contributor for FanSided's New York Mets blog, Rising Apple. She is a co-host of the Yankees-Mets Express podcast.