Yankees: Good news and bad news in win over Blue Jays

Alexander Wilson
New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Apr 3, 2021; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) pitches against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees took on the Toronto Blue Jays in game two of a three-game series to open the 2021 regular season on Saturday. After losing Opening Day 3-2 in extra innings, the Yankees bounced back nicely, securing a 5-3 victory with new starting pitcher Corey Kluber on the mound.

While the Yankees offense still needs a bit more time to get in the groove, they showed a bit more liveliness against Toronto starter Ross Stripling. In just 3.1 innings, they posted seven hits and three runs off Stripling, getting him up to 77 pitches before they replaced him with Tyler Chatwood.

Good news and bad news for the Yankees:

The good news comes in many different ways for the Yankees, as Kluber lasted 4.0 innings and allowed five hits and one earned run. He struck out five batters in the process and walked three, managing to get himself out of trouble on a few occasions.

Unfortunately, there were a few negatives in his game, including the walks and the one home run he did give up, but overall it was a fantastic performance for him after not pitching for more than a year due to injuries. This is a positive sign for the Yankees moving forward that they can rely on him regularly, and he should improve as the season progresses.

Offensively, DJ LeMahieu recorded two hits, and Aaron Judge did the same, bouncing back after problematic Opening Day performances. Even Jay Bruce got into the action, recording two RBIs on a single to centerfield in the sixth inning to give the Yankees a 5-2 lead. Overall, the offense was adequate, collecting 11 hits and five runs, and they didn’t solely rely on the long ball, making solid contact.

Gary Sanchez, on the other hand, hit his second home run in as many days, now sitting at .429 on the season with a 1.286 slugging percentage. While his only hit on Saturday was a homer, we can’t complain.

There wasn’t much negative news to go around, aside from Aaron Hicks striking out three times again, but he did record a hit and an RBI in the fourth inning.

As for the Yankees pitching, the only negative to extract was from Lucas Luetge, who allowed a run in his 1.0 innings of work. This shouldn’t be alarming, considering Lucas hasn’t pitched in the MLB since 2015 with the Seattle Mariners. There’s no doubt he was experiencing some jitters, so we can give him a break for this one, but overall it was an impressive performance from the Yankees despite a low score.