Yankees-Red Sox scoring: Four takeaways as Josh Donaldson strikes out on MLB Opening Day

NEW YORK — One week later than originally scheduled and then another day after thatthe New York Yankees Y Boston Red Sox they opened their 2022 regular seasons at Yankee Stadium on Friday. The Yankees rallied to win Game 1, 6-5, despite trailing 3-0 in the first inning. They didn’t lead until their big offseason addition, the former AL MVP. joseph donaldsonprovided the walk-off single in the 11th inning (score box).

“The resiliency of the team will lead to good things in the future,” Donaldson said after the game. “… Show some resilience and fight back and hang on — total team win, bullpen did a great job — I hope it leads to great things down the road.”

More than the game itself, the main story coming out of Yankee Stadium on Opening Day is the Yankees and aaron judge not agree to an extension of the contract. Judge set an Opening Day deadline for talks and is scheduled to become a free agent after the season. The Yankees offered a seven-year deal worth $30.5 million per year that covers 2023-29.

“We’re all disappointed right now because we can’t talk about a contract extension today. Not now, but hopefully later,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said before Friday’s game. “…Both sides would like to be here. I think Aaron Judge doesn’t want to be anywhere other than here, and we’d love to see that happen as well.”

Here are four takeaways from Opening Day at Yankee Stadium.

1. The Red Sox should pay Devers

I mean, this was already obvious, but raphael devers he really drove home the point with an impressive two-run homer into the second deck of right field in his first at-bat of the new season. Gerrit Cabbage he tried to throw a 99 mph heater at him at the top of the zone, but Devers hit him on the spot and he sank. Not many hitters can handle this speed at this location:

Like Judge, Devers set an Opening Day deadline for contract extension talks, and the two sides failed to reach an agreement. The Red Sox and Devers were said to be “a long way off” earlier this week.. matt olson He signed an eight-year, $168 million extension at the same service level as Devers a few weeks ago, just to give you an idea of ​​his possible price range.

Devers will play the entire season at age 25 and is scheduled to become a free agent after 2023. Because a deal was not reached before Opening Day, the two sides will start next season in the same place Judge He’s with the Yankees. now. Devers will be closing in on free agency and looking for a massive payday next spring.

2. Cole calmed down and threw down

The 2022 season began as the 2021 season ended for Cole: The Red Sox hit him hard. Cole didn’t make it out of the third inning in last year’s Wild Card Game, and the first four batters on Opening Day walked four-pitch, two-run homer (Devers’ homer), hard single off the wall , turn into the right field corner. Plain and simple, the Yankees were down 3-0, and the Yankee Stadium crowd gave Cole a run for his money.

“It’s hard to adjust. Obviously the first four pitches weren’t really competitive,” Cole said after the game. “Honestly, I got burned out on a couple of pretty good fastball locations in the first. They put in some great swings. Hopefully we were able to settle in after that and give ourselves a chance to win.”

After those first four batters came in, Cole retired 11 of the last 13 batters he faced, going four innings and giving the offense a chance to get back in the game. Like everyone else after the short spring, Cole was counting pitches on Opening Day. He threw 68 pitches (27 in the first inning alone) and was scheduled to throw 75 or so.

“I think we just hit some better breaking pitches in the zone,” Cole said when asked what allowed him to settle down. “I can’t really say we got ahead of a lot of guys. Little bit better pitches.”

Cole broke out like an ace-caliber pitcher with the stars when he started using an elevated four-seam fastball and wicked downward breaking balls. The suppression of the foreign substances has forced him to shift his focus from him (Cole can no longer rely on sticky things for additional effects), and he now mostly casts down into the zone. Check out their Opening Day launch locations:

Gerrit Cole lived in the area on Opening Day.

baseball sage

I count how much, seven pitches in the top third of the strike zone? That’s not the Cole we saw from 2018 to June 2021. He made the adjustment to throw down the zone: Cole also picked up a cutter in spring training and threw three on Opening Day, and it’s an ongoing process. Pitcher adjusts, hitters adjust, pitcher adjusts back, etc.

Cole finished second in Cy Young voting in 2021, but posted a 2.31 ERA before the crackdown and a 4.12 ERA afterward. That’s a bit misleading, though, because Cole had a 3.28 ERA in his first 13 starts after the crackdown. He then strained his hamstring on Sept. 7 and pitched through it because the Yankees were fighting for a postseason spot. In his last four starts, he had a 6.35 ERA.

3. The Yankees won a bullpen battle

After the Red Sox took a 3-0 lead with four batters in the first inning, the Yankees fought back and tied the game thanks to a antonio rizzo two-run home run and one Giancarlo Stanton solo home run Stanton’s home run was the kind of home run that only Stanton can hit. It was a low line in the opposite direction that led to the short right-field porch of Yankee Stadium. It was a missile.

Stanton’s home run tied the game at 3-3 in the bottom of the fourth. In the top of the sixth, the Red Sox regained the lead in good old-fashioned style. Xander Bogaerts he hit a double grounder into the third base bag, jd martinez moved it to third on a groundout to second, and Alex Verdugo he grounded it through the drawn infield. Verdugo also made two nice sliding catches in the game.

On paper, the Yankees have the bullpen advantage over the Red Sox, but the Red Sox have Garrett Whitlock, who was stolen from the Yankees in the Rule 5 Draft last offseason. Boston is stretching Whitlock, possibly to start later in the season, and he retired seven of the first eight batters he faced after the Red Sox clawed back the lead. The problem is that he faced nine batters. That ninth batter, DJ LeMahieuhe hit a game-tying home run to right field.

LeMahieu started Opening Day again Gleyber Torres, with manager Aaron Boone indicating that it was essentially a “feel” move. The Yankees have nine starting-caliber position players for eight spots (not counting catcher), so someone will be out of the lineup every day. On Friday, it was Torres. That meant he was available as a pinch hitter. Kyle Higashioka in the tenth inning, and provided a game-tying sacrifice fly.

“I may have the biggest at-bat in the game today,” Boone said of Torres earlier in the day.

The Yankees and Red Sox traded runs in the tenth. At 11, Yankees right miguel king he stranded the automatic runner with two strikeouts and a broken-bat grounder. King was electric in that inning. On the third pitch of the bottom of the 11th, Donaldson hit a walk-off single up the middle. As noted in the introduction, this is the Yankees’ first Opening Day victory since 1957.

“It was great. Our team put us in a great position there,” Donaldson said after the game. “It was nice for my first game here to help the team win. I couldn’t ask for much more than that.”

4. New York’s new defense shone

The Yankees prioritized defense over the winter, specifically in the infield, and it was on display on Opening Day. Donaldson, the new third baseman and new shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa each made brilliant plays. Rizzo, who returned to playing first base after arriving at the trade deadline last year, also made several firsts.

Last season, the Yankees ranked 29th out of 30 teams in defensive runs saved and 25th in putouts above the Statcast average. The Yankees gave away too many free bases and forced their pitchers to throw too many extra pitches. Improving defense was a must, and while it’s a long season, early results on Opening Day were good. Defense is no longer an obvious responsibility.

“It was just a fun game to be a part of. The guys competed well all night,” Boone said after Friday’s game. “You know, I think it’s an example that it’s not always going to be perfect. We get hit in the mouth early. Gerrit settles in and throws some zeroes to keep us there.”

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