by Jacob Westendorf
What a start. If you’re a New York Yankees fan, yesterday went about as well as you could have hoped for.
All eyes were on the 2-4 hitters of Aaron Judge, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gary Sanchez.
The hope is those three men in the middle of the order will help the Yankees have one of the most powerful offenses in recent memory.
Stanton received a ton of attention over the offseason. That came with good reason. He’s the reigning National League MVP. He’s one of the best players in baseball.
He was being added to a lineup that many concluded had his baseball twin in it.
Judge and Stanton are expected to deliver big things to the Big Apple.
Stanton didn’t waste any time winning over the fans of his new team. The first swing he took launched a ball into the right center field seats to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead.
Stanton, Judge, and Sanchez all hit back-to-back-to-back doubles later in the game to give the Yankees a 4-0 lead.
They new lineup construction was working wonderfully.
Stanton would top the game off later with a majestic home run to center field. It was an exclamation point to a great day for the new designated hitter.
He finished 3-5 with two home runs and 4 RBI.
Perhaps more important than the performance of the lineup was the dominance of their new ace.
Luis Severino picked up right where he left off last season. There was some question as to how Severino would handle the Opening Day spotlight. His first postseason performance left much to be desired.
Severino learned how to handle the post season better and that clearly helped him on Opening Day.
He was dominant throughout the game. He basically threw two pitches. He dazzled the Blue Jays with blistering heat and a devastating slider.
He came out of the game after 5.2 innings. He walked too many people, but that is something that will get better as time goes on. He allowed one hit and struck out seven. He was dominant in every sense of the word.
Chad Green came in to relieve Severino and did what Chad Green does. He didn’t allow a hit, and blew hitters away with his fastball.
If there was one hiccup it was the first pitch by Dellin Betances. Betances threw Kevin Pillar a fastball that was deposited in to the center field stands. He would settle down and retire the next three Jays in order.
That’s a big key for the Yankees this season is if Betances can get back to his dominant form of two season ago.
Aroldis Chapman came into the game and shut the Blue Jays down in order. One encouraging sign was that his slider appeared to have much more movement on it than it did a season ago. Last year Chapman used mostly fastballs because he didn’t have a feel for his slider.
Yesterday, he did. If Chapman can continue to break those off with consistency he will be borderline unhittable.
Yes, it’s only one game, but damn that was fun. The Yankees are must-see-TV. If you’re a Yankees fan, it’s good to feel that way again.