It’s not often that you’re very excited to watch a game the day after the Yankees lost one 14-0, but it was hard to not be interested in Friday’s series opener against the Marlins. After the Yankees’ deadline moves, it was hard to not be interested to see how the new look lineup performed in their first game together.
Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo took the field as Yankees for the first time, and one of them in particular made quite the first impression. Rizzo went 2-3 with a walk, a long home run, and a second of the Yankees’ three runs. Gallo didn’t have as big a game, going 0-4 with a walk, although he just missed hitting a home run himself.
It wasn’t as good a performance as good as the new Yankees’ lineup is now capable of, but it was enough thanks to a strong effort from Jameson Taillon and the Yankees’ bullpen. All that led to the revamped Yankees got off to a good start with a 3-1 over the Marlins.
Rizzo walked in his first at bat, but his most notable of the game came in the sixth inning. With one out, he launched a ball 449 feet for a solo shot, breaking a scoreless tie. It was not only his first home run as a Yankee, but it was a memorable one that came at an opportune time.
The best in the Rizz. pic.twitter.com/ACO6LKcOVy— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2021
After getting the first two outs of the sixth, Taillon walked Brian Anderson, ending his day. It was another addition to his recent good run, as he allowed no runs off five hits and two walks in 5.2 innings. He left still responsible for the runner on first, and things then got a little more nervy after an Rougned Odor error put another runner on. However, Jonathan Loaisiga then got a force out at second thanks in large part to a very nice play by Gleyber Torres.
Oh, Baby (G)! pic.twitter.com/qaURQkcsS6— New York Yankees (@Yankees) July 31, 2021
Torres’ next action was not quite as fun. In the seventh, he was rung up for strike three on what was a very questionable call. He tossed his bat and had some words with the umpire, who quickly threw him out of the game for Torres’ first career ejection. DJ LeMahieu and Gio Urshela both started the game with minor injuries that had them day-to-day. However due to the ejection, LeMahieu had to come in as the infield was shuffled around.
As it turned out, Urshela would also end up coming in when he hit in Loaisiga’s spot in the eighth. Prior to that, Aaron Judge and Rizzo reached after a hit by pitch and a single respectively. Urshela then loaded the bases with a single. He apparently was good enough to hit, but not run the bases as was lifted in favor of a pinch runner. With the bench shortened after the double switch and Torres’ ejection, that pinch runner ended up being Nestor Cortes. Cortes wouldn’t end up scoring (and threatened to go full 2021 Yankees on the basepaths), but Judge and Rizzo did as Odor singled them both home.
The Marlins got on the board in the bottom of the eighth as Zack Britton came in. Jazz Chisholm and Jesús Aguilar both singled to start the inning, putting runners at the corners. A run then scored as Brian Anderson came to the plate, but considering it came a double play, the Yankees took the trade off, and held Miami there.
Aroldis Chapman came in and threw a drama-free ninth to seal the win.
The Yankees still have plenty of work to do in the playoff races, but this was a decent start.