Opening Series: vs Toronto
The Yankees began their season facing the new-look Toronto Blue Jays. The Yankees sent ace Gerrit Cole to the bump for opening day and Cole had a solid outing. Cole tossed 5.1 innings, allowing 2 runs on 5 hits and most of those 5 hits came in the second inning. Cole also tossed 8 strikeouts in his 5.1 innings of work. The Yankees went on to win Game 2 of the series until ultimately losing the rubber match of the series. The Yankees had some very solid pitching all series as the Blue Jays only scored 9 runs the whole series (3 in each game). The Yankees bats struggled in the series as they just couldn’t get a necessary big hit with runners on base. They left 22 runners on base in game one of the series, nineteen on in a 5-3 win in game two of the series, and then in game three, they only left 9 runners on base but had just 5 hits. Corey Kluber made his Yankees debut in game two of the series and pitched well. In Kluber’s first start since he pitched one inning on opening day last season, he had 4 innings of work and allowed just one earned run while striking out five. Domingo German got the ball for the Yankees in game three of the series which was his first start since 2019 due to a domestic violence case. German was only able to work three innings as he allowed 3 runs on 4 hits and really struggled in the second inning of the game. Michael King came out of the pen to relieve German and pitched SIX shutout innings, which helped the Yankees bullpen get some rest.
Series #2: vs Baltimore
After the Yankees lost the opening series to the Blue Jays they had to quickly bounce back and get ready for an Orioles team fresh off of a weekend sweep in Boston. The Yankees would send Jordan Montgomery to the bump for game one of this three-game set. Montgomery was TERRIFIC in his first start of the season, tossing six shutout innings, striking out seven and only allowing 4 hits. The Yankees took this game 7-0 and again rested the bullpen as they sent Luis Cessa for two innings. Aroldis Chapman also pitched fresh off of serving his 2-game suspension for throwing behind Mike Brosseau last season. The Yankees sent Gerrit Cole to the bump for game two of this series as he was pitching on normal rest, and he tossed a gem for the Yankees. Cole tossed seven scoreless innings striking out THIRTEEN Orioles en-route to a 7-2 Yankees win and helping the Yankees win their first series of the 2021 season! The Yankees would send newcomer Jameson Taillon to the bump looking for the sweep and he tossed 4.2 innings allowing 2 runs while striking out seven. It was Taillion’s first start in 707 DAYS, YES, 707. The Yankees would find themselves down 2-1 as they headed into the eighth inning where Gary Sanchez crushed a single just past the outstretched glove of Ryan Mountcastle. This led Mike Tauchman to pinch-run for Sanchez and bring Gio Urshela up to the plate who lined one into the left-center field gap, scoring Mike Tauchman from first on what was an amazing slide at home to beat an excellent relay throw. The Yankees would, unfortunately, lose this one in extras as Gleyber Torres made a costly error at short to bring in the go-ahead run in the top of the tenth inning. The Yankees out-hit the Orioles 13-4 in this game but lost 4-3 in extras. The Yankees will now get set to take on the Tampa Bay Rays for their home opener. The Rays, fresh off of getting swept by the Red Sox, will be ready to play in front of their home fans and are prepared to be the same Rays team we saw in the ALDS that knocked us out in five games. It should be a really fun series!