What a day and what a game this afternoon as the Yankees opened the season at home in their usual classy fashion.
The pre-game ceremonies for the first time since opening day 2001 included the Yankees receiving World Series rings. The first guy to receive his ring was Yankee trainer Gene Monhan who has taken a leave from the Yankees as he battle throat and neck cancer. It was a truly touching moment as Gene came out looking great and all the players were excited to see him. We here at Bronx Baseball Daily wish Gene a quick recovery!
The Yankees also played some jokes at the ring ceremony as Hideki Matsui and Nick Swisher both received fake rings before being given the real deal. After Matsui received his ring all the Yankees went over to him and embraced him in a very nice moment.
Even though it wasn’t seen live the ceremonious first pitch was delivered by Bernie Williams who bounced the ball, but still nice to see Bernie. Before I get to the game recap I also want to mention a special thank you to The Boss George Steinbrenner, who received his ring prior to the ceremony from Derek Jeter and Joe Girardi, who has given us Yankee fans a team we can all be proud of and see succeed every season.
Believe it or not there was also a game this afternoon which pitted Andy Pettitte against Ervin Santana. Hideki Matsui got his first at bat verse his old team early but struck out on a check swing. The Yankees were able to get on the board early after Nick Johnson hit his first HR of the season, and the first of the year at Yankee Stadium, to put the Yankees up 1-0. The Yankees added another solo shot in the 3rd inning this time off the bat of the Yankee captain Derek Jeter giving Andy Pettitte a 2-0 lead. Pettitte was superb today shutting down the Angels for 6 innings, but the Yankees would wind up needing the insurance runs they got throughout the game.
The Yankees scored 4 more runs combined in the 4th and 6th innings after a Jeter single and Alex Rodriguez single. After Morales hit a solo HR for the Angels in the top of the 8th inning off of Chan Ho Park to ruin the shutout the Yankees answered with their own two runs in the 8th after a Posada double and Granderson single, giving the Yankees a 7-1 lead. The 9th did not go as smoothly as the Yankees would have wished as David Robertson struggled and gave up a grand slam to ex-Yankee Bobby Abreu to make the game 7-5. Joe Girardi brought in Mariano Rivera for what was then a save situation and wound up getting Matsui to pop out to close the game. A fitting ending to a great Yankee opener.
Game MVP: Andy Pettitte
- Matsui: 0-5 in his return to NY
- Jeter: 2/5 HR 2 RBI
- Johnson: 2/3 HR RBI 2 BB
- Rodriguez: 2/5 2 RBI
- Cano: 2/5
- Posada: 3/4 RBI
- Granderson: 2/5 RBI SB
- Abreu: 1/5 Grand Slam
- Morales: 3/4 HR RBI
- Pettitte: 6 IP 5 hits 0 ER 3 BB 6 K
- E. Santana: 5.2 IP 8 hits 5 ER 5 BB 7 K
- W:Andy Pettitte L:Ervin Santana Sv:Mariano Rivera
- Javier Vazquez has a chance to redeem himself tomorrow in game 2 of the series (1:05pm EST)
Around the AL East:
– Tampa Bay @ Baltimore 7:05 pm
– Chicago (AL) @ Toronto 7:07 pm
Follow me on twitter: SCrociata