Yankees’ star slugger gushes over Juan Soto’s Opening Day beauty

MLB: New York Yankees at Houston Astros
Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees couldn’t have written a more perfect fairytale if they tried on Thursday evening when they came back from a 4–0 deficit to beat the Houston Astros 5–4 down in Texas. “Barbeque,” as Ted Lasso would say.

The Yankees wanted to make a significant impression on the 2024 season from the jump, and losing star pitcher Gerrit Cole certainly didn’t do them any favors.

However, his replacement, Nestor Cortes, gained confidence and momentum as the game progressed despite a rocky start, which saw him give up four earned runs in the first two innings. Fortunately, Nestor showcased his usual resilience and did just enough to give the Yankees a chance to get back in the game despite the offense squandering multiple opportunities with the bases loaded.

Juan Soto to the Rescue

Fortunately, their new Hall of Fame-level player, Juan Soto, showed why the Yankees should give him a blank check next off-season. The 25-year-old singled to right field in the fifth inning, driving in Jose Trevino and giving the Yankees their first run of the season.

Soto’s impact was plastered all over the beautiful win, marked by his legendary walks and a surprising defensive impact in the outfield. In the bottom of the ninth inning, Soto gunned down a runner headed for home, and while Soto is certainly known for his bat, it was his arm that got the job done when it mattered.

Even Aaron Judge was blown away by his masterful performance, coining it an instant “Yankee classic.”

“That was a Yankee classic — Juan’s debut,” captain Aaron Judge said afterward. “It speaks volumes about the type of player he is and the type of presence he has.”

The Yankees Have Two Super Stars Now

Soto finished the game with one hit, two walks, and an RBI. He was impressive, to say the least, and his presence should give the Yankees plenty of confidence moving forward. Last season, the team lacked a star player to pair with Judge, a problem that completely disrupted their flow and rhythm offensively.

Now, the Yankees know they have plenty of support alongside their best player. If not for squandering the bases loaded on two separate occasions, this might’ve been a blowout instead of a slim victory that was saved by a pinpoint throw from Soto in right field.

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