The 2023 MLB season is underway. While we are only four calendar days in, there has still been a lot to digest with the new pitch clock rules and the crackdown on extreme shifts. We saw a game finish in two hours and five minutes, Trayce Thompson put up a three home run game, and Shohei Ohtani struck out 10 in six shutout innings and didn’t factor into a decision. We have 159 games to go, but here are some early takeaways.
MLB Week 1 Takeaways
Aaron Judge: Still good at the baseball
Judge opened the season the only way he knows how, with a home run. He ended the first weekend with another home run bringing his early batting average to .462 with two home runs and four RBI. Judge did show his kryptonite with five strikeouts, but his hunt for a second consecutive AL MVP Award is underway.
Long balls galore, but pitchers still dominate
Twenty-four starting pitchers struck out at least seven batters this weekend. Jeffrey Springs and Logan Webb led the way with 12 apiece and were followed by Gerrit Cole at 11. With the pitch clock changes, it was thought that there was an increase in chance for mistake pitches or that they would feel rushed. It was good to see a well-rounded opening weekend with notable hitting, pitching and base-stealing performances.
Teams searching for their first win: Royals, Tigers and...Phillies?
The Phillies are off to a slow start after playing in last year’s World Series. Yes, they are dealing with big injuries to Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, but starting the season getting swept is a bad look. Honestly, the way they lost is more concerning; 11-7, 16-3 and 2-1 against the Texas Rangers.
We knew that the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers were going to be bad, so not much of a surprise there. Just let Miguel Cabrera do a tour of the country in his final season, and let him be honored as the future First Ballot Hall of Famer should.
Kodai Senga brings ghost pitch to first start
Senga is known for his ghost forkball and made his MLB debut on Sunday with a blue glove donned with an emblem of a ghost and pitchfork. He struggled early with his command but settled in. Senga finished the day throwing 5.1 innings and giving up three hits, one earned run and walking three while striking out eight to pick up his first win.