Wasted Opportunities. 5 Reasons Why Toronto 3 NY 2 on 4-1-21

The Yankees blew so many opportunities to win this game. Opening day 2021 at Yankee Stadium; the first game of the MLB season; everyone watching. A cold day in the 40’s and overcast turned into a bright sunny day midway thru the afternoon with the Yanks on the verge of sending the fans home happy. And then not.

The reasons why the final score was 3-2 Toronto in 10 innings:

1. Missed Opportunities

The Yankees left 10 runners on base (Toronto left 6). There were so many missed opportunities for NY.

Jay Bruce “just” missed it — dead baseballs?

After Gary Sanchez reached on an infield single to start the 7th off righty reliever and former Yankee David Phelps, lefty batter Jay Bruce TAGGED one to right. But the right fielder flagged it down — prompting many on twitter to suggest we had just experienced MLB’s new ‘deader’ baseballs — introduced this year to tame all the homers.

It felt good watching a lefty power hitter in the middle of the Yankee lineup rip a ball to right even if it was an out.

Judge Hits Into DP with Bases Loaded, 1 Out

Still in the bottom of the 7th, the Yanks loaded the bases with 1 out. The count went to 2-0 on Judge, then a strike, then he hit the ball Hard — a hard grounder to 3rd. Double play.

Tauchman Out at Home in the 9th

Gary Sanchez led off the 9th against Toronto’s Jordan Romano with a walk, and manager Aaron Boone sent Mike Tauchman out to pinch run for him. Tauchman immediately stole 2nd. Jay Bruce struck out. So Tauchman stole 3rd to put the winning run there with 1 out. Clint Frazier walked to put runners on the corners and DJ LeMahieu stepped up. Everyone felt the game was about to be over.

But LeMahieu hit a slow roller to 3rd and Tauchman was out at the plate. With the winning run still at 2nd and 2 out, Aaron Judge struck out.

2. Sanchez the Hero for Yanks

Gary Sanchez hit the first homerun of the game and Yankee season with a blast in the 2nd to make it 2-1 NY.

Sanchez also walked twice and had that leadoff single in the 7th — he was 2-3 with 2 walks on the day.

In the field, he threw a laser to second to nail out Toronto centerfielder Randy Grichuk with 2 outs in the 7th.

3. Cole Pitched Great

Gerrit Cole pitched well. He got into trouble in the 2nd on a bunch of singles but got out of it with 1 run. He sailed after that into the 6th, when he allowed a homer to Teoscar Hernandez to tie the game at 2. He pitched 5.2 innings — 5 hits, 8 strikeouts.

4. Gleyber Didn’t Make 2 Errors

Gleyber Torres booted a hard shot to his right in the 2nd inning, but it was ruled a hit. In the 7th, he bounced a ball to 1st base, but it too was ruled a hit. On each I thought Gleyber had made an error but was thankful to learn he didn’t. I still am hopeful he’ll do well defensively at short and the Yanks will win 105 games.

5. Nelson Tagged with the COVID Loss

The nice thing about extra innings, I told myself, is that we get to see Nick Nelson pitch. Nelson was lights out in spring training — he of the 98 MPH heater and “special” off-speed pitch that Aaron Boone was raving about.

We are still in COVID rules — so each team starts an extra inning with a leadoff runner on 2nd. Toronto centerfielder Randal Grichuk met Nelson with a line drive to right for a hit that scored the go-ahead run. Nelson proceeded to strike out the next 3 batters. Bittersweet.

The Yankees couldn’t do anything to advance their COVID-placed runner on 2nd in the 10th — Aaron Hicks, Giancarlo Stanton, and Gleyber Torres all struck out against Julian Merryweather.

The Boxscore


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