The 2019 MLB season began on Wednesday, as the Oakland Athletics and Seattle Mariners squared off in Tokyo.
However, with the game starting at 18:36 local time, which is 5:36 ET and 2:36 PT, much of the American audience were fast asleep when the first pitch was thrown.
While many supporters in the Bay Area and Seattle were not able to see their respective teams start their campaign, fans in Japan were treated to an exciting encounter, with the Mariners prevailing 9-7.
The two sides will do battle again on Thursday, but here we look at five things you may have missed from the start of the regular season.
1. Ichiro makes an impact on home soil
In what may be Ichiro Suzuki's final opening day start, the 45-year-old Mariners outfielder was unable to tally a hit, but found a way to get on base with a walk in his second plate appearance.
Manager Scott Servais then took him out and Ichiro received a standing ovation from his compatriots. It was a moment befitting of one of the best hitters of all time.
Ichiro comes out of the game.— Cut4 (@Cut4) March 20, 2019
Pardon us, we're crying in the club rn. pic.twitter.com/09aKuLlsiQ
2. The A's don't have much starting pitching
As good as Mike Fiers was for the Detroit Tigers and Athletics last season, the simple fact remains that he is not a typical ace of a pitching staff.
Fiers is better suited as a number three or four and that showed on Wednesday as he lasted just three innings while giving up five runs to a Mariners team that lost three of their best hitters from a year ago. Oakland finished last season with one starter in their rotation and could decide to completely do away with starters if Fiers consistently does what he did in the opener.
3. Mariners trades already paying off
Seattle made a lot of trades in the offseason. They made big deals sending Jean Segura to the Philadelphia Phillies and Robinson Cano and Edwin Diaz to the New York Mets, and it made more subtle ones in acquiring Mallex Smith from the Tampa Bay Rays and Domingo Santana from the Milwaukee Brewers.
While Smith is hurt right now, Santana has made a great start to his Mariners career, smacking a grand slam in his second at-bat of the year. That homer gave the Mariners a lead they would never relinquish and a winning start to the season.
4. Matt Chapman picked up where he left off
The A's 25-year-old third baseman was possibly the most under-the-radar great player in baseball last season, hitting 24 home runs and 64 RBIs. And he picked up right where he left off in the opener too, hitting a three-run home run and going two for five with two runs scored.
He also made a fantastic play on a bunt to nab the speedy Dee Gordon. Oakland needs him to be great again this year if they hope to replicate last season's success.
5. Hunter Strickland fills Diaz void
Losing Diaz undoubtedly hurts the Mariners. The 24-year-old closer saved 57 games in 61 opportunities last year while striking out 124 batters in 73 and 1/3 innings. That is incredibly hard to replace, but Hunter Strickland did not seem fazed by attempting to do so.
The former San Francisco Giants reliever, most famous for throwing at Bryce Harper, triggering a fracas that saw both players hit with suspensions, was perfect, producing a flawless one-two-three inning with two strikeouts, the second coming against Chapman and ending the game.
Strickland has always been an effective reliever and he could fill in more than admirably for Diaz.
|Eredivisie fixtures move boosts Ajax´s Champions League bid|
|Nobody believed in Spurs´ destiny, says Pochettino|
|Real Madrid have €500m to spend, says Capello|
|Simeone: Positives of ´animal´ Costa outweigh negatives|
|Nadal outclasses Dimitrov to rack up 70th Monte Carlo win|
|Joshua opponent to be confirmed next week - Hearn|
|Focusing after Champions League euphoria is difficult, concedes Pochettino|
|Khedira to undergo knee surgery|
|No place for Amir in Pakistan World Cup squad|
|With Harry Kane all is possible - Pochettino not ruling out return for Spurs striker|
|Kovac won´t rush Neuer back from latest injury|
|Milner expecting Manchester City reaction against Spurs|
|Messi criticism in Argentina unfair, says Simeone|
|Djokovic breezes through in blustery Monte Carlo|
|Sharks storm back to down fast-starting Panthers|
|Sydney FC 1 Perth Glory 0: Premiers Plate winners downed by Le Fondre|
|Amla pips Hendricks to Proteas World Cup place|
|Horn confident he can deliver if he gets shot at Brook|
|O´Sullivan to face amateur Cahill in World Championship opener|
|McLeish leaves Scotland role after Kazakhstan debacle|
|Manchester City v Tottenham and the greatest Champions League matches in history|
|Barton denies allegations after Barnsley complaint|
|Napoli defender Koulibaly worth €150m, says Ancelotti|
|Barcelona book reunion with Iniesta, Villa on Japan tour|
|Irving: There´s ´nothing like´ delivering for the Celtics in the playoffs|
|Facing Messi will be hard, says Van Dijk|
|Chandimal misses out on Sri Lanka´s World Cup squad|
|Champions League: Ajax v Tottenham, Liverpool v Barcelona semi-final dates confirmed|
|We´re almost there - Harden sees Rockets peaking in playoffs|
|Hazard is Chelsea´s best foreign player, says Zola|
|Bernardo Silva: Man City want titles, not Spurs revenge|
|Giannis has faith in Budenholzer to keep him fresh|
|Ireland skipper Best to retire after World Cup|
|In my head we were eliminated - Sissoko unaware Sterling´s goal had been disallowed|
|Wallabies can win World Cup without ´completely wrong´ Folau - Genia|
|Liverpool exit unfair, says Porto´s Conceicao|
|Lara 375: I have to explain he didn´t score them all off me - Lewis|
|Lara 375: The progression of Test cricket´s record score|
|Vancouver Whitecaps 1 Los Angeles FC 0: Hwang stuns conference leaders|
|Llorente: It had to be a goal|
|Braves, Red Sox bullpens both lose as Kimbrel sits at home|
|Klopp not worrying about Messi just yet|
|Zion Williamson assists couple with epic gender reveal dunk|
|Russell Wilson wants to be a ´Seahawk for life´|
|Celtics rally for win over Pacers, Bucks pull away from Pistons|
|Pochettino: Espanyol survival still my happiest moment as coach|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five must-see prime-time games|
|Miller to appeal licence decision, denies wrongdoing|
|Here´s how Gronkowski dented the Lombardi Trophy|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five dates to circle on your calendar|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five potholes on Patriots´ road to repeat|
|2019 NFL schedule: Five takeaways from fixture release|
|Simmons ´average´ in half-court offense, says Dudley|
|Tottenham aren´t finished – Son dreaming big after ´very crazy game´|
|Spurs players are heroes - Pochettino revels in incredible triumph|
|There was no performance at all – Tuchel blasts PSG|
|Eriksen: I must be one of the luckiest guys on the planet|
|Giroud ´very frustrated´ with Chelsea back-up role|
|Guardiola still backing VAR despite reservations over Llorente goal|
|Chaos and cruel twist leave Guardiola out of control in Champions League|
|Guardiola laments ´cruel´ Champions League exit|
|Klopp hails ´special´ side as Liverpool return to semi-finals|
|Durant needs to be more aggressive in playoffs - Kerr|
|Manchester City 4 Tottenham 3 (4-4 agg): VAR denies Sterling as Spurs win classic tie on away goals|
|Porto 1 Liverpool 4 (1-6 agg): Reds run riot to set up Barcelona semi-final|
|Archer keen not to upset World Cup stars after England call-up|
|New Pelicans chief Griffin confident Davis will stay|
|Nantes 3 Paris Saint-Germain 2: Tuchel´s title wait continues in untidy defeat|
|Bairstow inspires Sunrisers past out-of-sorts Super Kings|
|Origi starts at Porto as Klopp rests Firmino|