Manny Machado was supposed to make his first appearance of the season on Tuesday but the weather was not so kind and made him wait two whole days. The Orioles star third baseman couldn’t have been happier for the day to finally arrive. Machado suffered a season ending knee injury last September and under went surgery in October. He has been rehabbing the knee ever since.
Both Machado and the team had hoped for an Opening Day debut by the third baseman but one month into the season was really not that much longer to wait. It certainly made Machado’s appearance that much more exciting for the fans. Machado received a a roar of cheers as he warmed up before the first game of the Orioles’ double header against the Pittsburgh Pirates, a game the Orioles ended up winning 6-5 on a walk-off home run by Matt Wieters in the tenth inning. The cheers grew louder and into a standing ovation as the 21-year old stepped into the batter’s box for the first time this season. Of his warm welcome Machado seemed in awe,
I had to take it all in. For the fans to go out there and cheer for me once I went out there and ran a couple of sprints, and then I got a standing ovation when I came up to the plate. I want to give thanks to all the fans for coming out and supporting us. Hopefully, it’s going to be a big year for us.”
Machado went hitless in five at-bats but it was an exciting day for him, the Orioles, their fans and Baltimore manager Buck Showalter who expressed his relief to having stability back at the hot corner. The Orioles won the second game of the double header and Machado was himself on the field, a defensive ace as usual. Despite going 0-5 at the plate Machado was a happy camper.
“First day back, walk-off win. Great game, great pitching staff, great two games. Couldn’t be happier.”
Welcome back to baseball Manny Machado.