Yankees Hot Corner – An Opening Day victory
The New York Yankees opened their season on Thursday at home against a depleted Baltimore Orioles team. The sun was shining and the baseball gods were watching as Luke Voit and Co. powered the Yankees to a 7-2 victory. It was the first of what looks to be many, and a very professional win by a Yankee team that based on talent alone should win every single game they play against the O’s.
The Yankees started the scoring off in the very first inning, as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton got on board with opposite field hits. With two men on base, LUUUUUUUKE Voit hit a monster three-run home run to Death Valley. It was just the beginning for this stout lineup, although it was more a complete meltdown by the O’s pitchers than a hit parade by the Yankees.
After three straight walks to start the third inning, Miguel Andujar hit into a double play but in the process scored Aaron Judge coming in from third base. Masahiro Tanaka settled into the game quickly but in the fourth inning after a missed scoop by Greg Bird, the Orioles were able to score on a Rio Ruiz single. The single by Trey Mancini was ruled an E-5 on Miguel Andujar but Andujar threw all the way across his body and Bird wasn’t able to make the scoop.
Once again the Orioles’ pitchers got in trouble, as they loaded the bases up again in the bottom of the 5th. Luke Voit was hit by a pitch and then Miguel Andujar later drove Aaron Judge in again, this time with a sacrifice fly. Trey Mancini would drive in a run on a double that really should have been an out. He hit a line drive to straightaway center and Brett Gardner couldn’t find it in the sun. It went over his head and was an RBI for Mancini, but the damage was already done.
To put the icing on what was a great Opening Day, Greg Bird, who had previously been 0-for-3 with three strikeouts, hit his own moonshot to salvage what would have been a lost day. Adam Ottavino relieved Tanaka in the 6th, pitched for four outs and looked fantastic. Zack Britton got into a little bit of trouble in the 8th but was saved by a diving play in the hole by Gleyber Torres. Aroldis Chapman closed the door in a non-save situation and the Yankees won a very yeoman-like Opening Day game.
- The star of the day was Aaron Judge. He went 2-for-3 with two walks and three runs scored. He is going to be an OPS machine and looks to be very patient at the plate this season
- Miguel Andujar was robbed twice of a home run on the warning track. If he had just gotten another foot or two on those balls they would have carried out and he would have had a much nicer looking statline
- The Greg Bird/Luke Voit saga is going to be a barn burner. Voit has the edge the entire day but Bird salvaged himself with a home run of his own
- Aroldis Chapman has lost some luster on his fastball. He’s down from 100 to about 94-95 MPH. Now usually it wouldn’t be a concern considering the cold weather and it being the beginning of the season, but even when Chapman isn’t warmed up he normally hits at least 96
The Yankees have a day off before heading back to the Bronx to continue their series with the Orioles. Six of their first twelve games are against the Orioles so they need to take advantage of each and every opportunity. They struggled against the Orioles last season and it’s partially the reason why they didn’t win the division last season. Either way, it was a win on the books for the Yankees and they’ll continue to work throughout the first few weeks of the season.
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