It is hard to follow a legend, but Didi Gregorius is doing a good job of doing so.
Last season, Didi hit 25 HR to set a new Yankees’ record for HR by a SS, breaking Derek Jeter’s record.
Today, in the Yanks’ home opener, he set a record for RBI by a Yankees’ SS in a game with eight.
He picked up Giancarlo Stanton, who in his first home game as a Yankee, went 0 for 5 with 5 strikeouts. If 0 for 4 with 4 strikeouts is known as the golden sombrero, is what Stanton did called the platinum sombrero?
But hey, it takes a team. When Didi cools off, that is when you hope Stanton and Sanchez (now 1 for 19) take off.
With the 11-4 win over the Rays on a miserable, cold, rainy day, the Yanks go to 3-2 on the season.
The Yanks struck first. In the bottom of the second, Didi, who was 4 for 4, scored 3 runs and drove in eight, hit a double. With one out, Neil Walker walked, and with two out, Tyler Wade singled in Didi. Wade would be robbed of his first MLB HR later in the game.
A single, walk and error by Drury enabled the Rays to tie the game in the top of the third. It would have been more, but Gardner, after catching a fly out, nailed ex-Yankee Rob Refsnyder at the plate as Refsnyder was trying to tag up and score.
Didi hit the first of his two three-run HRs in the bottom of the third to put the Yanks up 4-1.
Jordan Montgomery only gave up one run in five innings. The first time through the rotation, the starters have given up 0, 1, 2 (1 earned), 1 and 1 run. Good. Now to go deeper into the games, as they have lasted 5 2/3, 6, 5, 4+ and 5 innings. Need a little more length.
The bullpen was supposed to be a strength, but it has been shaky so far and was again today. Jonathan Holder replaced Montgomery in the sixth and after a strikeout, gave up a double, single, single to make it 4-2, and single to load the bases. Out he went and in came Kahnle. Kahnle got a big strikeout but then gave up a double that tied the game up before a ground out ended the inning.
In the bottom of the seventh, Tyler Austin doubled and Brett Gardner put down a sac bunt. An error on the bunt enabled Austin to score and Gardner to reach second. Aaron Judge singled Gardner to third and after Stanton struck out, Didi hit his second three-run HR of the game to make it 8-4.
In the bottom of the eighth, with one out, Tyler Wade and Tyler Austin walked. Brett Gardner beat out an infield hit to load the bases and Aaron Judge walked to force in a run. After Stanton struck out yet again, Didi blooped a 2-run single to make it 11-4 and complete his 4 for 4, 8 RBI, 2 HR day.
Gardner 2 hits. Scored 3 runs.
Judge 2 hits, scored twice. Walked twice. RBI.
Stanton 0 for 5 with 5 strikeouts.
Didi 4 for 4, 2 HR, double, scored 3 runs, Drove in 8.
Sanchez 0 for 5, 1 for 19 for the season. Slow start.
Montgomery 5 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 4 W, 4 K.
Holder (H) 1/3 IP, 3 R, 4 H, 0 W, 1 K. Silly hold rule
Kahnle (BS, Win) 1 2/3 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 0 W, 4 K
Robertson 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Shreve 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
I won’t post stats until we are further along into the season.
Jacoby Ellsbury, trying to get over an oblique strain and expected back later this week, has apparently turned into Carl Pavano. Now, while rehabbing the oblique strain, he has hurt his hip. No timetable for him to be back.
With all the outfield injuries, the Yanks picked up Trayce Thompson off the Dodgers on waivers. Thompson’s dad, Mychal, played for the Lakers with Magic and Kareem in the late 1980s, and his brother Klay is with the Golden State Warriors.
Trayce is 27 and can play all three OF positions. A righty bat, he only got in 27 games for the NL Champion Dodgers last year, going 6 for 49, 2 doubles, 1 triple, 1 HR, 2 RBI.
He spent 2015 with the White Sox and 2016 and 2017 with the Dodgers. In 151 MLB games, 407 AB (about the equivalent of one full season), he has just a .233 batting average but does have 19 HR and 50 RBI. OPS+ 103. He didn’t play in the postseason with the Dodgers.