Opening Week was an eventful one for the New York Yankees, who showed off incredible talent at the plate and on the field.We made it to the end of Opening Week! While the New York Yankees didn’t sweep away the competition, they certainly had their moments on the diamond.
Each week, Elite Sports NY will be counting down the top plays of the week, courtesy of your Bronx Bombers.
Let’s recap. This week resulted in a poor Opening Day outing against the Tampa Bay Rays, a home run-happy performance at Tropicana and a heart-breaking loss to the Baltimore Orioles on a cold, spring night.
But in between the final scores lie the true story of the game. That would be the plays that help determine the outcome. And these plays played a big role in the Yankees’ performance this week.
So here we go! Allow me to introduce you to the “Lit Six Plays of the Week.”
6. Aaron Judge vs. Wall
We all know Aaron Judge as the guy that will launch home runs over the wall. I guess we didn’t really know much about his defensive abilities until today.
Judge, meet the wall. The 6-foot-8 outfielder crashed into the wall as he made a stellar catch in Friday night’s contest against the Orioles. Judge, who was named the starting right fielder prior to Opening Day, has exceeded expectations when it comes to his defense.
We know that Aaron Judge isn’t afraid of the wall, but the wall is likely afraid of Aaron Judge after that collision. Watch out, this guy wants to make the catch and nothing will stand in his way.
5. Gary Sanchez is BACK
That’s right, fans, you can all stop worrying. Gary Sanchez finally hit his first home run and, boy was it impressive.
Sanchez launched a two-run shot against Orioles starter Ubaldo Jimenez to give the Yankees a 5-1 lead on Friday night. While that lead wouldn’t hold, Sanchez still gave Yankee fan something to cheer about.
Sanchez’s home run was his hardest hit of his career with an exit velocity of 112.2 MPH, according to Statcast. The moonshot landed approximately 426 feet away from home plate.
It’s just a sign of more things to come but the first home run for Sanchez this season was a bomb. Can’t wait for more from him!
Jacoby Ellsbury with the RANGE.
The @Yankees CF erases a Tampa Bay run with a leaping catch at the wall in the 1st!#YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/WMkSvnvZXO
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 4, 2017
4. Jacoby Ellsbury makes stellar catch to rob hit
Jacoby Ellsbury has been having a pretty good season so far and this catch might have been his best moment yet.
Ellsbury shows off his range and leaps to make an incredible catch to rob Rickie Weeks of a hit and, potentially, a run for the Rays.
Ellsbury showed great field awareness and hauled in the catch to spark the Yankees on their way to a 5-0 victory.
Think he can do it again? We certainly would like to see more of that Ellsbury this year.
Ladies & gentlemen, your 2016 Gold Glove outfielder Brett Gardner is at it again. ???#YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/H4IX6JxFHU
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 8, 2017
3. Brett Gardner shows off Gold Glove
He won a Gold Glove last year, so why not show off those skills for the haters?
Brett Gardner made a stellar diving grab on Saturday afternoon to rob the Orioles’ Chris Davis of a hit with a runner on first. Boy, I love seeing Gardner be aggressive in his position in left field.
His diving catch was made even better by the quick pop-up to attempt to double off the runner at first. Say what you want about Gardner, but he’s not only a good outfielder but he’s smart as well.
Gardner’s diving catch made the loss against the Baltimore Orioles on Saturday almost bearable.
Almost. It’s still not what you want.
Chase Headley is erasing base hits left & right.#YANKSonYES pic.twitter.com/BBbyol7quR
— YES Network (@YESNetwork) April 8, 2017
2. Headley’s back-to-back snags
Chase Headley has gotten off to a pretty great start this season and while he has made a few mistakes on the field, he also has had some impressive plays.
One of those plays came in game two of the Tampa series where the hot corner was especially hot. First, Headley snagged a liner to the backhand side to rob Peter Bourjos of a base hit. The Yankees went on to win that game by a score of 5-0.
The second play came against Baltimore, robbing Joey Rickard with a dive to the forehand side.
Let’s face it. With the amount of crap Headley gets from fans and haters, you’d think he’d be a pretty terrible player.
Guess what? He’s definitely not.
Five-foot-8 Ronald Torreyes drives in 6-foot-7 Aaron Judge with this ?to left field. pic.twitter.com/BxPSVolLo2
— Baseball America (@BaseballAmerica) April 5, 2017
1. Ronald Torreyes smacks first home run of 2017
Who says size matters?
Ronald Torreyes turned out to be the unlikely hero who crushed the first home run for the 2017 Yankees. Torreyes turned on a pitch against Tamp Bay to give the Yankees the lead in a game they’d eventually win 5-0.
Torreyes had only one home run in 72 games last season and this home run displayed a little more power than we’ve seen from him in the past.
Torreyes’ two-run shot was a no-doubter and got the Yankees going on offense. So, yeah, it deserves to be in the top spot this week.
What will next week bring? Will the Yankees be able to make up for their dismal 1-4 start? Or will they continue a slide into mediocrity?
Who knows for sure. However, we do know that there are sure to be some more exciting plays to come. Until next week!