New York Yankees Didi Gregorius Postgame
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

Didi Gregorius had a home opener for the ages today, driving in eight as he led his New York Yankees to their first home victory of the season. 

  • New York Yankees 11 (3-2)
  • Tampa Bay Rays 4 (1-4)
  • W: Tommy Kahnle (1-0, 4.91 ERA)
  • L:  Austin Pruitt (1-1, 10.38 ERA)
  • AL, Final, Box Score
  • Yankee Stadium, Bronx New York

Despite not being able to play in yesterday’s Snow-pening Day, the New York Yankees and the Tampa Bay Rays got together for the Yankees home opener on a very cold and soggy day in the Bronx.

Apparently, the weather had no effect on Didi Gregorius as the shortstop put his name in the record books with his two home runs and eight RBI on the day. Once again, however, the bullpen put their team in some precarious situations, but the Bronx Bomber bats were in full effect as they stormed past their division rivals in the late innings.


Wade In the Water

After both hurlers worked perfect firsts, the elder Chris Archer was the one who found himself in second inning trouble.

Didi Gregorius ripped a leadoff double to right-center, staying put while Gary Sanchez popped out and Neil Walker did what his named implied: walked. Following a Brandon Drury line out to left, rookie Tyler Wade ripped a single into right field that scored Didi from third to give the Yankees an early one-run advantage.

If Wade wants to stay in the lineup as Gleyber Torres’ April 19th call-up date quickly approaches, he will need to continue to come through in the clutch like he did in the second.

Don’t Be Tardy for the Gardy

In the top of the third, Jordan Montgomery worked himself into some trouble and needed some seasoned veteran assistance to get him out of it.

After Jesus Sucre scored on a Brandon Drury throwing error to first that saw two runners advance to scoring position, Monty was left to square off against the dangerous Kevin Kiermaier. The Platinum Glove winner hit a lazy fly ball to center field that gave Brett Gardner the opportunity to do this.

Notorious Gregorius

Wouldn’t you know it—after making the sensational play to end the previous half inning, Gardner led off the bottom of the third with a sizzling single through the middle of the infield. After Aaron Judge singled and Giancarlo Stanton struck out, Sir Didi swung his sword with all of his might.

Following the completion of the Giancarlo Stanton deal, Didi sent a tweet to his new skipper asking if he was no longer going to be hitting in the four hole. Well, if he keeps hitting like this, he’s sure to keep that spot in the order on lock down.

Fishy Comeback

After making his 2018 debut with a game-time starting temperature of 40 degrees, Jordan Montgomery did all he was asked to do as he was pulled early. Montgomery tossed five innings of one-run ball, allowing two hits, four walks and four strikeouts.

Unfortunately, his replacement Jonathan Holder did not fair as well. After getting Carlos Gomez to strike out to begin the frame, Holder served up a ringing opposite-field double to C.J. Cron and a Wilson Ramos single to put men on the corners with one out. The next batter Adeiny Hechavarria singled to knock in Cron to make it a two-run contest.

After Jesus Sucre singled to load the bases, Tommy Kahnle was called upon to clean up the mess left by Holder. After striking out the pinch hitter Brad Miller, Kahnle left a changeup elevated and Denard Span drilled a double into the right field corner that plated two of the three Rays to tie the game at four apiece. And for the third straight game, the bullpen failed Aaron Boone.

Go-Go Says No-No

As the Yankees headed into the next inning, Tyler Wade tried his best to give his Yankees the lead and record the first home run of his Major League career. Carlos Gomez had other ideas.

You should expect to see top-level defense when you have an outfield occupied by three centerfielders. But to take a kid’s first big league blast away… Just rude, bro.

Yes In-Didi

Despite being let down by their bullpen again, the Bomber bats put together a comeback in the seventh that helped all Yankee fans forget those bullpen woes. Tyler Austin got things going by smoking a double off of newly inserted Rays’ righty Austin Pruitt. Brett Gardner then attempted a sacrifice bunt that saw the third baseman Matt Duffy air-mail the throw to first, allowing Austin to score from second to give the Yankees a 5-4 advantage. After Aaron Judge lofted a seeing-eye single into center, the hero of the day Sir Didi Gregorius stayed ablaze.

Following the first long ball, you could hear faint chants of “DEE-DEE” and “M-V-P” throughout the ballpark. After that second blast, they were almost deafening. In fact, Sir Didi is the second Yankee in history (Alex Rodriguez, 2008) to have seven extra-base hits in the first five games of a season.

Keeping the Foot On the Gas

In the bottom of the eighth, the Rays bullpen aided in the Yankees putting yet another scoring rally into motion. After getting Drury to fly out and then walking the brothers Tyler (Wade, Austin), Pruitt was lifted in favor of the righty Sergio Romo.

Romo proceeded to allow an infield single to Gardner to load the bases and then walked Judge to plate the Yankees ninth run of the game. Just when it looked like Romo would escape with no further damage; after getting Stanton to strike out for the fifth time of the day, Sir Didi was at it again. Only a meager single that scored two this time, the hit brought Gregorius’ RBI total to eight—the most by any player in their home opener in the history of this great game.

What’s Next

The Yankees and Rays sew up this two-game short series tomorrow afternoon. Luis Severino (1-0, 0.00ERA) gets the nod for the Yankees tomorrow, looking to build off of a solid 2018 debut in Toronto. Tampa Bay is scheduled to give the ball to the young, crafty left-handed Blake Snell. Snell only allowed three hits in his first outing against the Red Sox, but his bullpen surrendered the lead and the game to keep the goose eggs rolling across his won/loss record.

First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 p.m. ET tomorrow afternoon. The game can be seen on the YES Network and MLB Network(for those out of market) and heard on WFAN 660AM/101.9 FM.

After losing my eyesight as a result of a brain tumor in 1996, baseball and music ushered me back to reality and led me to who I am today. I turned my love of the game and for my New York Yankees into writing for the best company in sports: Elite Sports NY. i use my Psychology & Music degree from James Madison University to articulate my thoughts in my writing and use my vocal/piano skills to professionally play music in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.