The Yankees lost 6-2 on opening day to a team that lost 111 games last year and doesn’t have one brand name player on the roster. While that’s never good to see, it happens. Even the best teams lose 60-70 games every year, and yes, they lose to bad teams. We covered the positives from CC Sabathia‘s rough start, so what else can we take away from this?
The main takeaway for me was the performance of the bullpen. Sabathia settled down and pitched six innings, eventually giving way to Dellin Betances in the seventh. Betances, whom we’ve covered this spring, earned a spot in the bullpen by basically out-pitching everyone else in camp, and he kept it going in his 2014 regular season debut. Betances struck out Dexter Fowler swinging on and Robbie Grossman looking, before inducing a weak ground ball from Jose Altuve. Betances showed a nasty breaking ball and his fastball topped out at 99.3 mpha. I’ve said it before, the Yankees haven’t had this kind of arm in the pen in a while, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Betances soon finds himself pitching in much higher leverage situations.
If you were impressed by Betances’ raw speed and nastiness, you might overlook Vidal Nuño‘s outing. Nuño is basically the complete opposite of Betances; He’s 5”11, where as Betances is 6’8″. Nuno is a lefty, where as Betances is a righty; and, while Betances throws 99 mph, Nuño’s fastball barely reaches the 90 mph mark. All of that being said, Nuño came in to face the eighth and pretty much one-upped his bigger teammate by striking out Jason Castro, Jesus Guzman and Matt Dominguez, and only allowing an infield single to Chris Carter.
For a bullpen with a lot of unproven question marks, this was a huge shot in the arm.
- Mark Teixeira went 2-3, including an opposite field RBI single (on purpose!), and he almost hit a home run.
- Jacoby Ellsbury‘s leg looks good to go, as he had no problems chasing down Fowler’s double in the first inning.
- Jeter moved very well at shortstop and had a typical Derek Jeter single to the opposite field late in the game.
See? It wasn’t all bad. It’s a long season, so let’s not get all bent out of shape about one loss. Let’s get them back tomorrow!
Featured image courtesy of: The Associated Press
- http://www.riveraveblues.com/2014/04/the-curse-of-eduardo-nunez-astros-top-yankees-6-2-on-opening-day-101181/ (back)
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