Giancarlo Stanton
Robby Sabo, ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The New York Yankees, led by Giancarlo Stanton homering twice, bludgeon the Toronto Blue Jays on MLB Opening Day 2018 to the tune of 6-1.

  • New York Yankees 6 (1-0)
  • Toronto Blue Jays 1 (0-1)
  • W: Luis Severino (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
  • L: J.A. Happ (0-1, 3.86 ERA)
  • AL, Final, Box Score
  • Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario

After an extremely emotional jersey number retirement ceremony for the late Roy Halladay, the New York Yankees and Toronto Blue Jays took the field for the long-awaited Opening Day.

It was all New York, and more specifically, all Giancarlo Stanton as the 2017 NL MVP had a Yankee debut for the ages. The rest of the Yankees offense was alive and well and Luis Severino was stellar this afternoon as the Yankees got their 2018 off to an incredibly promising start.

Highlights

Sterling Stanton Start

There’s an old expression that says, “You can tell a lot about your season based on your first batter.” If that is the case, Toronto may be in for a long 2018 campaign, as Brett Gardner lofted a lazy fly ball to left that saw Curtis Granderson somehow lose the ball in the lights to allow Gardner to reach first safely. After Aaron Judge struck out, new Yankee Giancarlo Stanton got his Bronx Bomber career off to a booming start.

You could definitely say that ball got out in a New York minute. In fact, Statcast said that the ball left Stanton’s bat at 117.3 mph: the hardest hit opposite field home run in the Statcast era.

There were many who said that the transition to the big market would be a tough one for the 6-foot-5 slugger. So much for that analysis.

What Happ-ened?

After giving up the long ball, J.A. Happ continued to struggle throughout the rest of his outing. He averaged nearly 20 pitches an inning and was lifted after walking Aaron Judge on his 96th pitch of the afternoon.

Right-handed reliever John Axford came on in relief to face Stanton and proceeded to serve up a ringing double to the designated hitter that split the gap in left-center field that scored Judge to extend the Yankees lead out to 3-0.

Following suit, Gary Sanchez laced a double of his own to center that plated Stanton from second to make it a 4-0 Yankees lead. After serving up the double, Axford got Aaron Hicks on strikes to end the threat and the frame.

Sensational Severino

As for Luis Severino, the Yankees ace was on cruise control, not allowing a hit until the bottom of the fourth. He went to his slider a lot more frequently than he did a season ago, and was getting Blue Jay batters to look just silly with their flailing swings-and-misses.

Sevy kept the scoreless effort going into the sixth inning. With two outs, new Yankee skipper made his way out to the mound to pull his ace after Severino got Justin Smoak on his 91st pitch of the day. The ace finished his seasonal debut off with a final line of 5.2 IP, 1 H, 3 BB, 7 K.

Chad Green came on in relief and got former Yankee Curtis Granderson on strikes to end the sixth.

Gardy Party

It seems only fitting that the same day the newest Yankee goes deep, that the longest tenured Yankee joins the long ball party. In the top of the seventh, newly-inserted Danny Barnes left a hanger over the middle of the plate and Brett Gardner did this:

With Aaron Judge reaching base three out of five times today, Aaron Hicks knocking two hits and Gardner and Stanton going deep, it looks like the Yankees outfield is as good as advertised.

Double the Fun

After Dellin Betances didn’t do anything to silence the people that say something is very wrong with him by giving up an eighth-inning solo blast to Kevin Pillar, Giancarlo Stanton reminded everyone exactly why he won the National League MVP last season.

While his first shot actually went farther, this shot was much more majestic and put former Yankee Tyler Clippard away for good.

Aroldis Chapman came out in the ninth despite the five-run lead and shut the door on any Toronto hopes of an opening day come back. The Yankees victory today ends a six-game opening day losing streak.

New York Yankees

What’s Next?

Tomorrow night’s contest features a pitcher’s duel of two strikeout-happy righties: Masahiro Tanaka for New York and Aaron Sanchez for Toronto. Tanaka will be looking to get his season off to a great start, justifying his coming back for the remaining three years on his deal executed this winter. Sanchez has always been a guy with a world of potential, but can never seem to put a healthy season together

First pitch is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. ET and can be seen on the YES Network and heard on WFAN 660/101.9 FM.



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