- Mike Whiteman
About Yesterday: Yankees 6, Giants 0
By Mike Whiteman 4/3/2023 Born on this day in 1892 was Harry Kingman. Yes, Harry Kingman. While his Yankee career wasn’t particularly interesting, his life definitely was. https://www.baseball-reference.com/players/k/kingmha01.shtml https://sabr.org/bioproj/person/Harry-Kingman/
Quick Stats: The Yankees are 2-1 on the season. They have stolen five bases in the early going - three by Anthony Volpe and two by Gleyber Torres. Their pitching staff has thrown two shutouts, and the team has scored at least five runs each game. Big Story: Due to well documented starting rotation injuries, the Yanks had to dig into their depth for yesterday's starter, Jhony Brito. He didn’t disappoint in his Major League debut, spinning five shutout innings, allowing only two singles and a walk. It was a gutsy outing by the rookie, who mixed in his changeup very well when he had every excuse to overthrow in the excitement. Credit as well to Kyle Higashioka behind the plate shepherding the rookie through his start.
The Yanks brought the thump early, as Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton homered in the third off of Ross Stripling . Higashioka smacked another home run to left in the fourth. The Yankee pen picked up right off where Brito stopped, allowing only one single and a walk over the last four frames. The team added on a couple insurance runs in the seventh without a hit, the key play being a double steal by Anthony Volpe and Gleyber Torres. Newcomer Colten Brewer sealed the win with two shutout innings in his first outing in Pinstripes. Yankees 6, Giants 0. Yankees win! Player of the Game: Clearly it was Brito. Not to get too far ahead of ourselves, but if he can help hold down the fort until Rodon and Severino join the rotation, that would be huge. Notable Performances: Stanton’s blast went 485 feet, the second longest of a career full of tape-measure shots and third farthest ever at the new Yankee Stadium. Impressive.
Ron Marinaccio was dominant, striking out three of the four batters he faced in the sixth and seventh innings. Nice piece of hitting by Anthony Rizzo in the seventh, choking up on the bat with two strikes to hit his seventh-inning sacrifice fly. Who knew aggressive baserunning and making contact could score runs?! Better to Forget: Josh Donaldson was hitless and struck out twice. He did start a 5-4-3 double play in the fourth after a leadoff walk.
They Said It: “It just looks really similar to his fastball, probably more than most guys. It’s hard to tell out of the hand” - Kyle Higashioka on Johny Brito’s changeup. My take: I like Gleyber Torres leading off. I’ve not been a fan of him in the middle of the lineup due to his recent streakiness. We saw yesterday the havoc that he and Volpe on the bases together can create. With Gleyber at the top, I’d move DJ LeMahieu and his contact hitting skills in the middle of the lineup, either third or fourth between Judge and Stanton. It's not the traditional move, but I think a couple of contact guys between the big strikeout guys could help avoid some of the valleys we've seen with this team go through in recent years. Batting Torres leadoff ahead of Judge can only help him to get more good pitches to hit. Isiah Kiner-Falefa made his first start in center field and had a couple of nice plays. He did not look out of place in the outfield. I really like seeing the Yankees run. I was even happy to see Rizzo try to swipe a bag. Just the possibility of stealing can be an asset, as we saw in the seventh when Giant reliever Sean Hjelle sure looked distracted by Volpe at first base and his threat to take off.
Next Up: The defending National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies come to town. Nestor Cortes (12-4, 2.44 in 2022) takes the mound in his 2023 debut against Taijuan Walker (12-5, 3.49 with the Mets in 2022).