Welcome everybody to the start of the 2020 season! No, it’s not the kind of season that you can buy a ticket to or stream on FoxSportsGo, but as Josh presented the other day, this is the start of our PSA Plays MLB The Show series. We’re going to bring you the next chapter of Yankees baseball, as told by computer simulation.
Opening Day: Yankees 10, Orioles 5
The Bombers opened the season with a three-game set against the Orioles in Camden Yards, notably one of Gleyber Torres’ favorite places to play. The computer must have recognized this, as Torres went 2-for-4 with a walk and a run scored in what was a 10-5 victory for the Yanks on Opening Day.
Quick disclaimer: I simulated this first series the other night, and Gerrit Cole tossed a complete-game shutout with 11 strikeouts on Opening Day, and for some reason, the progress didn’t save. So I had to simulate it again, and this time, Cole wasn’t as dominant in his Yankees debut. But he still posted 11 strikeouts and went seven strong innings, allowing three earned runs and four hits for his first win as a Yankee. The big blow off Cole came in the second, a two-run homer by Austin Wynns, who is 1-for-2 in his career against Cole in real life.
Meanwhile, the Bombers pounced on John Means, scoring four runs in the first three innings, led by back-to-back dingers by DJ LeMahieu and Aaron Judge, who even with a collapsed lung and fractured rib, hit two home runs on the day. The other big bopper for the Yanks was a healthy Aaron Hicks (he’s on the roster along with other injured Yankees like Luis Severino and Giancarlo Stanton), who went 2-for-4 with 3 RBI.
Adam Ottavino was knocked around for two runs in the ninth before Jonathan Holder finished the job. Hopefully Ottavino was just a little too laid back while nursing what was a 10-3 lead.
The highlight of Opening Day? Giancarlo Stanton had a stolen base. That’s right.
Game 2: Yankees 3, Orioles 2 (10 innings)
Things were MUCH more interesting two days later in the middle game of the series, which the Yanks won 3-2 in 10 innings. Trailing 2-1 in the ninth, Brett Gardner smashed a game-tying dinger off Mychal Givens to send the game to the 10th, where Stanton gave the Bombers the lead with an RBI single before Aroldis Chapman shut the door.
Severino labored, allowing seven hits over seven innings, but grinded to hold the O’s to two runs,. Ottavino was much better in his second inning of work on the year, striking out two in a scoreless eighth.
Gary Sanchez also homered for the Yanks, who moved to 2-0 on the year. The highlight of game two? Stanton was caught stealing. Seriously Giancarlo, you’re coming off a calf strain. STOP RUNNING!
Game three: Yankees 3, Orioles 2
The Yankees completed the sweep in game three with another 3-2 nail-biter. James Paxton cruised through six scoreless innings before laboring in the seventh, allowing two runs before being taken out with two outs in the inning. The lefty finished with 11 strikeouts and no walks.
Holder came in and got Paxton out of the jam, then Chad Green and Chapman did the rest to secure the sweep. I’m not sure what Aaron Boone has against using Tommy Kahnle, who isn’t hurt, but I guess Holder got the job done. Maybe Kahnle is still grieving after his loss in the team’s Madden league.
The offense for the Yanks was a solo shot from Judge in the fourth and a two-run triple by Miguel Andujar in the fourth. The 162-game homer pace for Judge now sits at...162.
See everyone next week to recap the Yanks’ series against the Rays! First impressions after opening weekend? The race to see who finishes with a higher season total: Judge in the homer department, or Stanton in stolen bases. Stay tuned.
Oh, I forgot to add that nobody got hurt in this series! This game is so unrealistic.