It is very early in the season, however, losing two out of three games to the Baltimore Orioles at home was not the ideal way to kick-off the 2019 season. After beating the O’s 7-2 on Thursday’s festive Opening Day, New York fell to Baltimore 3-5 and 5-7 on Saturday and Sunday, respectively.
The fire Aaron Boone and Brian Cashman tweets/posts are already out in full force as some are hitting the panic button. My message to those who even remotely agree with those fans is to please relax; it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 162 games are a long, long season and ultimately, it’s how you finish, not start is what dictates postseason performance.
Don’t get me wrong I am not meaning to minimize that each game is important. A March game compared to a September contest absolutely counts exactly the same in the standings. It was a very disappointing start, as the Yankees didn’t put forth their best effort against the lowly Orioles.
However, give this team a chance to develop and perform. Don’t get too caught up in the standings, that is barring an absolute catastrophic month. Now, let’s dig deeper and see what exactly the takeaways were from the Yankees 2019 regular season-opening series loss.
Untimely hitting proved to be the biggest difference.
Baltimore’s pitching staff issued eight free-passes in the opener, followed by six and another eight walk games, respectively. New York simply didn’t capitalize on those, and that doesn’t even include the hit-by-pitches, and error that could have turned into instant offense for the ‘Bronx Bombers.’
Here is a breakdown, game-by-game, of New York’s results in hitting with runners in scoring position:
- RISP Game 1: 1-8 with eight runners left on base.
- RISP Game 2: 3-9 with 11 runners left on base.
- RISP Game 3: 2-12 with 14 runners left on base.
- Three-game series totals: 6-29 (.207 batting average) with 33 stranded runners on base.
Bad defense is cause for concern.
Defense is most notably a concern for Miguel Andujar and Gary Sanchez. It is not a good look on either player that they that both committed at least one error in the field over the team’s first three games. Luke Voit also is on a mission to improve in this facet of the game and his ill-advised errant throw to second in Saturday’s matinee didn’t help his cause either.
After passing on the slick-fielding Manny Machado in free agency, and not even entering the J.T. Realmuto trade sweepstakes; New York better step up in this area of the game. The team wasn’t great defensively last season and did not do too much to improve in this area in the offseason. Instead, they rolled the dice with what they had. The jury is out on whether or not the gamble paid off, and the early returns aren’t promising.
Below please find a breakdown of the errors that New York committed against the Orioles:
- Game 1: One. A throwing error by Andujar.
- Game 2: Three. Throwing errors by Voit, Sanchez, and DJ LeMahieu.
- Game 3: One. Another throwing error by Sanchez.
- Three-game series totals: Four errors
Aaron Judge is the next great Yankees captain
Judge came out and publicly said after the game two loss, “Every game is important. You can go at the end of the year and look back and — last year we did that. So many missed opportunities and games we should have won, but we just didn’t come up with a big hit or a costly error, stuff like that.”
The two-time All-Star continued to say that, “Our backs are against the wall every single game, in the playoffs and especially in 2017, going into Cleveland and Houston down two games. Our backs were against the wall, and then we came out and played our butts off. That’s got to be our mindset going into this last game; our backs are against the wall. We can’t take anybody lightly. We’ve got to capitalize on situations when they come up.”
Simply put, he gets and embraces what being a Yankee is all about. Judge also backs the talk up with A+ effort on the field and puts up incredible results. This guy is an absolute stud and deserves to become the next Yankee captain.
James Paxton was an unbelievable acquisition
‘The Big Maple’ looked fantastic in his Yankee debut. He gave tons of promise on what the future holds. The southpaw threw tons of strikes, induced a plethora of groundouts, and pitched to soft contact.
Paxton’s official line from his start from Saturday reads 5.2 innings pitched, four hits, two runs (one earned), one walk and five strikeouts.
The results have always been there for the native of Canada. However, he has endured his fare share of injuries. Hopefully, the past can be the past, and he can stay healthy. If he can, Cashman pulled off one hell of a trade.