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Yanks Deliver a Blast From the Past on Opening Day

By Dustin Racioppi
4/6/09

The CC Sabathia that showed up on Opening Day in Baltimore better not be the CC Sabathia that opens up the new Yankee Stadium in 10 days. The same goes for the Yankees, who dug deep and pulled out the old tricks of 2008 — less than desirable pitching and failing to get runs when they needed to. 

It fell more on the pitching than anything else on Monday, beginning with CC, who was up against the ropes from the get-go. The big man let up a bloop and a couple wild pitches and the Yankees were down by one in the first. Then in the third he gave up a single, and then a triple drilled by Adam Jones set the O's up  to take 3-1 lead. CC's troubles continued as he entered the fifth and could only record one out, and even walked in a run. By the time Joe Girardi pulled the plug in the fifth inning, the birds had a 6-1 lead.

CC, who is known for bad April's, lacked any signs of the ace the Yanks signed in the offseason. He was erratic, his slider had no bite and the fastball was more inviting than anything. For the fifth time in his career, CC didn't record a single strikeout. 

The Yanks did show signs of life with the bats of Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui, who each hit homers. The Bombers were able to scrap their way back into the game, making it 6-5 until the bullpen — which was holding strong after CC's departure — fell apart late in the game. Phil Coke, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte all contributed. 

And while the Oriole's fans spent most of the game emphatically booing Maryland native Mark Teixeira, they should have been cheering him on because he didn't contribute anything offensively Monday. 

(As an aside, are Oriole's fans really that naive to think they were going to land Tex? The O's have some solid bats but don't have the guns needed to even have a shot at winning a pennant, let alone a World Series. Despite the money, I think Mark Teixeira wanted to have a chance to win — same with CC and A.J., for that matter — and the O's can't provide that right now. Get over it, Orioles fans.)

All in all it was a lackluster Opening Day for the Yankees. As everybody in the blogosphere keeps saying, it's only one game and there's 161 to go. Even though the Yanks gave huge paychecks to CC and Teixeira, it's not time to jump off a bridge. Let's wait til at least September for that. 

Sidenotes: Brett Gardner looked good today, hitting a solid rope to the opposite field, he put pressure on the basepaths and made a magnificent throw to Posada later in the game to keep the bleeding down; Nick Swisher showed a lot of spark, albeit briefly, with a leadoff ground-rule double late in the game; and Johnny Damon was cheated by a fan who reached over the wall to take away a legitimate shot of grabbing that homerun. It should've been reviewed. 

Bad days happen. Monday just happened to be one of them. 



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