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USATSI

The delay to start the 2020 season actually, in the weird way everything is unfolding this year, was beneficial for some Major League Baseball players. Think of those returning from injury. The rule change to make the designated hitter universal worked in tandem with the delay to get Mets slugger Yoenis Cespedes back in the starting lineup on Friday for the first time since July 20, 2018. 

Cespedes started the day with a pop out in foul territory. He was 0 for 2 when he came up with a scoreless tie in the seventh. 

And the ... bombs away off Atlanta's Chris Martin.

That, my friends, is Vintage Yo. He hadn't had a competitive at-bat in over two years and clubs a bomb in his first game back. What a story. On the downside, it's too bad this didn't happen with fans in attendance. Citi Field would've been a madhouse. Fans would've appreciated the blast even more, as it was the lone run in the Mets' 1-0 Opening Day win.

Funny side note: In looking at Cespedes' game logs to see when he last homered in Citi Field (coincidentally, against the Braves on May 1, 2018), I noticed something. Cespedes has now homered in three straight regular season games. It just so happens those three games were May 13, 2018, July 20, 2018 and July 24, 2020. Can we call that a streak? 

Regardless, Cespedes being a force in the middle of the Mets' lineup would be a gigantic bonus that they -- back in March -- never would've considered possible. The last time we had a decent sample from Cespedes, he had 17 homers and 42 RBI in exactly a half season in 2017 with a .292/.352/.540 slash. 

Obviously, we need to see a lot more from Cespedes -- including how he feels physically on Saturday -- before determining any grand proclamation, but right now, this is incredibly good news for the Mets. Having vintage Cespedes lock down their DH spot would make that offense capable of being pretty scary.