Watch Evan Longoria (just barely) hit the first home run of 2017
At 1:10 p.m. ET on Sunday, we saw the very first pitch of 2017. The Rays' Chris Archer threw a fastball for a ball to the Yankees' Brett Gardner. From there, we had plenty of firsts for the new season: First called strike (Archer's next offering), first walk (Greg Bird), first replay challenge (Matt Holliday) etc. etc. etc. But the most fun first? That belongs to Evan Longoria. After collecting the first RBI of the season when he hit a sacrifice fly in the bottom of the first inning, the third baseman came to bat in the bottom of the second. Longoria turned Masahiro Tanaka's cutter into a laser beam down the left-field line. Thanks to some smart placement and a helpful bounce from the top of the wall, it just snuck over. Boom: First home run of the year and the first Statcast™ barrel, too.
Look familiar? It should -- after all, Longoria ended the 2011 season with a home run to the same spot during that year's amazing Game 162.