Monday, April 1, 2013

Yankees Lose Opener to Red Sox

Today was a "rainy" day for the New York Yankees two-fold. While what started as a sunny, warm afternoon turned into a stark evening of rain, the Yankees also got "rained" on by the Boston Red Sox, losing their home opener 8-2. No offense and subpar pitching conspired to turn the excitement of Opening Day into feelings of "concern" as to whether this game foreshadows what may be to come while many of the superstars are on the disabled list.

I threw that last line in there just to stoke the nervous Yankee fans that are already crying armageddon after today's loss. It's just the first game of the season, yet while I point that out, many fans are anticipating nothing but hard times for this team until the return of the bredwinners. Make no mistake, today's game did expose some problems that the Yankees need to work on--some in a hurry--but I have no doubt that this team will be okay.

AP Photo
One thing that needs to change is whatever goes on in CC Sabathia's head on Opening Day. While his role as the ace seemingly gets him the automatic start, he has yet to win a home opener for the Yankees. Today, mustering no better than 5 innings and giving up 4 runs in the second, doesn't do much to breed confidence in CC's ability to start this team's season on the plus side. He is now 0-2 in 5 Opening Day starts with an ERA over 7.

In that second inning, CC gave up a single to Jonny Gomes and walked Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Boston's new kid, Jackie Bradley, Jr. to load the bases. He then gave up singles to Jose Iglesias, Shane Victorino (for two runs) and Dustin Pedroia. The inning proved to be all Boston needed.

Some pluses for CC however were that he showed good movement on his changeup and slider. The fastball was not working well for him today, as he didn't have much speed on it and struggled to locate it.

AP Photo
And while CC did manage to hold the Red Sox at 4 runs until his departure after the 5th, the Yankees Kevin Youkilis double, Vernon Wells walk and Ichiro single. After Jayson Nix went down on strikes, Francisco Cervelli scored Youkilis and Wells on a line-drive single to right field. Boston starter Jon Lester held them at bay for one more inning, and Boston's next 4 relievers took over the rest. Boston would go on to score 4 more runs, one in the seventh inning and 3 in the ninth, to put the game away.
offense did little to nothing to back him up. Their only 2 runs came in the 4th after they loaded the bases on a

Other changes that need to happen now are hitters showing more patience at the plate; most notably Brett Gardner and Eduardo Nunez. Maybe the excitement of Opening Day made them take swings that they shouldn't have, but we've seen this in these two before and it's a big problem now. With so much offense now missing from the lineup, these two are the fastest and most explosive base runners the Yankees have. With the team needing to resort to small ball to get runs, these two have to get on. Speed and base stealing is what is going to propel this lineup until the home run hitters--Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira and Curtis Granderson--return. I will say that Nunez did a very good job defensively today, making good throws and stops when he needed to.

Elsa / Getty Images
And speaking of A-Rod, seeing him in uniform in the dugout for the game today was a welcome sight. He was not introduced with the rest of the team, however, and I think that was right move. He would have surely been booed, and why /kill the excitement of Opening Day with that negativity. He did speak to the media briefly before the game, and as expected, would not answer any questions involving the Biogenesis investigation. He did tell the media that he was not worried, and that he felt everything would be good.

Game 2 resumes Wednesday at 7 pm. Hiroki Kuroda gets the start against Clay Buccholz,

Follow Rasheeda Cooper on twitter: @ra_cooper

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