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Yankees Highlights: Gary Sanchez goes deep, Luis Cessa pitches well in relief

Today’s game was a drag, and picking out highlights is a more challenging task than usual.

MLB: Baltimore Orioles at New York Yankees Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Can you come up with a more frustrating afternoon of baseball than today? I’m not sure I can. After a three-hour rain delay, the Yankees finally took the field for the rubber game of their season-opening series with the Orioles and again dropped a highly winnable contest. Check out our full recap later in the night, but for now, here are our winners and losers from today’s matchup:

Winner of the Game

The pickings are slim today in this category, so we’ll go with (*gulp*) Luis Cessa. Cessa looks to play a swingman role during the early season, and he played the role effectively today. He entered in the fifth inning and held the Orioles to one earned run on just two hits in 3.1 innings, striking out five versus two walks. It wasn’t exactly a stellar performance, but after a strong spring, this represented a solid start to Cessa’s regular season.

Honorable mention: Gary Sanchez roped his first home run of the year, planting one into the left field seats.

Loser of the Game

The Yankees’ ability to come up with a big hit. The team left 14 men on base today, consistently putting runners on and failing to bring them in. The only real clutch hit they produced was Aaron Judge’s bases-loaded, two-out, two-run single in the fourth that sliced Baltimore’s lead to 4-3. There’s no reason this should become a trend, but it’s certainly frustrating that the Yankees dropped two games to a rebuilding team mostly because they just couldn’t drive in runs when they needed it.

Honorable mention: J.A. Happ, who struggled throughout spring training, got off on the wrong foot, giving up four runs in four innings. He never really settled in against a Baltimore lineup that he should handle.

Chart

FanGraphs