Yankee baseball is back. All the players we’ve come to know and love are back and are brighter than ever. After finishing a game shy of the World Series, expectations were a mile high for the Yankees coming into 2018. Those expectations only increased when the Yankees acquired Giancarlo Stanton. Yankee fans everywhere had been waiting months for this day to come. It finally came, and boy was it spectacular.
There’s only one word that can appropriately describe Opening Day for the Yankees: WOW.
Severino looked incredible, Judge went 2-4 with a double and a walk, the bullpen was lights out, and we all know what Stanton did. To be honest, the biggest let down of the day was Sterling’s call for Stanton’s home run. It was just terrible.
Gardner led off the game by reaching on an error from Curtis Granderson followed by a classic Aaron Judge strikeout. Then the magic started. Stanton took strike one, then took a two-seam fastball DEEP to right-center hitting his first home-run as a Yankee. In the process, he also set a record for the fastest opposite field home run hit in the statcast era at a ridiculous 117.3 MPH.
In the bottom of the 1st, Severino started out slow and allowed back to back walks to Donaldson and Smoak. He looked nervous and was overthrowing his pitches which isn’t surprising for a 24-year-old starting in his first Opening Day. He settled down quickly after a mound visit and got Morales to strikeout swinging as the first of eight straight retired batters. He gave up a single to Granderson in the 4th, and then didn’t allow a baserunner until the 6th. He was then replaced by Chad Green who gave a typical Green outing of 3 strikeouts in an inning and a third.
The offense didn’t stop in the 1st. Stanton homered again in the eighth off of universally hated by Yankee fans Tyler Clippard. In the fifth, Judge walked which was followed by an RBI double from Stanton which in turn was followed up by an RBI double from Sanchez. The Yankees offense worked exactly as it was supposed to.
Betances gave up a solo homerun on a fastball right down the middle,the first pitch he threw. The only highlight of the day for the Jays. Betances settled in quickly and retired the next 3 batters he faced. Chapman closed the door in the 9th with two strikeouts. He looked like the vintage Chapman the Yankees expected to get when they originally signed him.
The biggest takeaway from today’s game is simple: the Yankees are going to be good. Stanton hit two homers, Judge made an impact even though he struck out in half of his at-bats. Severino had no issues after the first inning. He fell just an out shy of a QS. All in all, the Yankees won the game 6-1, winning on Opening Day for just the second time this decade and for the first time since 2011.
Boone had nothing to do. He made three pitching changes, ate some sunflower seeds, laughed when Stanton was given the silent treatment after his second home run and got his first career win as a manager. Seems like a pretty good day.
Only 161 more games until the playoffs. Here’s to hoping Stanton hits two homers in every one of them.