Yankees: Good news and great news following 5-0 Opening Day win

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Mar 30, 2023; Bronx, New York, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Gerrit Cole (45) pitches against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning at Yankee Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees defeated the Giants today, 5-0, in the opener of the 2023 season. Gerrit Cole was on the bump, and boy, was he locked in. The offense did their thing, Judge got off to a hot start, and the bullpen came in, and we’re absolute nails today. It was an ideal start to the year for the Yanks, and now the season is officially underway. 

Gerrit Cole and the Pen dominated for the Yankees:

The Cole Train was a bullet train today, as after walking the leadoff batter, he was absolutely dominant. He threw 6.0 innings worth, struck out 11 batters — a Yankees opening day record, and didn’t give up a run. His fastball was elite, and he looked like he was really enjoying the pitch timer and change of pace. 

The bullpen came in and followed suit, as Wandy got two punch outs before turning it over to Loaisiga to get the final out, and Ron the Don pitched the final two innings in what was a 16-strikeout shutout performance by the staff. The Don was on the money today, and had he not walked Joc Pederson, would’ve picked up his first save. 

He debuted the sweeper today, which is an iteration of his slider that he used last year, and it was money. He struck out a pair in the 9th and worked a 1-2-3 8th inning with a strikeout to boot. It was a season debut to remember for Marinaccio, and now he is off to a blistering start to the 2023 year. It should be a fantastic season for the Don, and I expect him to continue right where he left off. 

The lineup was clicking across the board:

The offense was firing on all cylinders, and everyone except for Oswaldo Cabrera reached base at least once. The reigning AL MVP, Aaron Judge, got the day started with a massive solo shot to dead center. From that point on, the Yankees never looked back. Logan Webb pitched well but not well enough. 

Gleyber Torres made sure to immediately silence the haters as he blasted a 2R shot in the 4th inning to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead early in this one. He’d later get another base knock and finished the day with two hits on his ledger. On top of that, Jose Trevino and Anthony Rizzo both kicked off their seasons with a knock-a-piece, and the offense was flowing. Anthony Volpe also worked a walk in his first PA of his Yankees’ career, stole a base, and made a few nice plays at shortstop. Talk about a dream debut for the longtime Yankee fan.

Josh Donaldson debuted his new stance today, and it paid off for him as he was able to slap a single to left field, and had he not been called out on a terrible strike-three call, would’ve had a solid afternoon. Hopefully, that’s a good sign as the season progresses, as I know he, as much as anyone, wants to erase his offensive stats from last year. 

DJ LeMahieu and Judge would each add another run in the 7th inning, and the lead would grow to the insurmountable 5-0 that it finished at. Stanton also got on base with a base knock in the 8th before Estevan Florial made his highly anticipated debut as a pinch runner. Everything was clicking today, and the Yanks rolled on by the Giants. 

The player of the game for both teams was umpire Laz Diaz, who did nothing right for the most part and got to pop a balloon that fell onto the field in the middle of the game. He was missing calls left and right and even forced a Gerrit Cole “Jesus Laz” in the 6th inning. 

The Yanks have tomorrow off before picking up the series with the Giants on Saturday. Clarke Schmidt looks to show off what worked for him this spring as he’ll be taking the bump, and then Nestor Cortes will follow on Sunday. Marinaccio’s two innings mean the Yanks should have almost an entirely rested pen, and he did the job that he was asked. A fantastic day of Yankees baseball all around.

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