Opening Day 2023 is in full swing.
There are 15 games on the schedule for Thursday: the day every baseball fan dreams about after so many months without America’s pastime.
One of the afternoon duels features the Boston Red Sox versus the Baltimore Orioles.
Two teams with playoff hopes, but also with a low floor, are facing each other at Fenway Park.
The scoring, in this case, started very early, in the first inning.
With two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber on the mound, Orioles star Adley Rutschman sent one to the short right-field porch for a home run.
On his first swing of 2023, Adley Rutschman leaves the yard! #OpeningDay pic.twitter.com/kjiycU1aCH
— MLB (@MLB) March 30, 2023
It was his first swing of the season, and Kluber’s eighth pitch of the afternoon.
That didn’t matter: Rutschman got all of that one and gave his team a lead.
The Orioles were 16-24 when Rutschman was called up last year.
They finished 83-79, a positive record for the first time in years.
It wasn’t a coincidence: with 35 doubles, a .806 OPS, and 5.3 Wins Above Replacement, the impact he had was tangible.
Not only was he an offensive star: he was a master of handling the pitching staff, and his framing skills were marvelous.
Rutschman is as good as advertised, if not better: a true star right from the go.
With him as the starting catcher, the Orioles are trying to shock the world and make the postseason for the first time since 2016.
They have an excellent core of offensive pieces led by Rutschman.
If their young pitcher can develop, they could be contenders in 2023 or 2024.NEXT: 2 Modern Orioles Stars Met Up At The World Baseball Classic