Monday, April 10, 2017
Michael Pineda retired the first 20 batters he faced in an electric 11-strikeout performance, leading the Yankees to an 8-1 victory over the Rays in their home opener on Monday afternoon at Yankee Stadium.
Evan Longoria broke up the bid for perfection with a two-out double in the seventh inning, as Pineda secured his first win of the year behind 7 2/3 innings of one-run, two-hit ball in front of a sellout crowd of 46,955.
“Today is a good game; it’s Opening Day here in New York,” Pineda said. “The fans have been waiting for that day. I feel happy today, we have a lot of energy. I’m good.”
Nine of Pineda’s strikeouts came on his devastating slider, with the right-hander also mixing in his fastball and changeup. He started 15 of the first 18 batters with strikes and did not fall behind 2-0 in a count until the sixth inning.
Remember that stretch of games in 2014 before the Pine Tar game when Pineda was lights out? And then he returned from the injury and was also lights out again? Remember how good he looked? That slider? Holy shit, he was awesome.
That’s how good he looked today, going after hitters all day long, getting strike one after strike one and then finishing dudes off with the slider. It was a thing of beauty. I can’t even remember the last time he pitched this well. Let’s hope he keeps it up.
The offense got some hits with runners in scoring position and ended up with an 8-1 victory. Jordan Montgomery makes his Major League debut as the #5 starter for the Yankees on Wednesday .I wonder who gets bumped from the 40-man?
In bad/good news, Gary Sanchez is out for four weeks. Bad because, well, it’s four weeks without Gary Sanchez and good because it looked like an injury that could have been much worse.
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