Soto, Volpe star in win but Yankees’ collective brilliance draws more attention

Juan Soto is with Aaron Judge after hitting a home run in the Yankees' 7-0 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 8, 2024.
Rav
By Rav
Tuesday April 9, 2024

Table of Contents

The Yankees painted a masterpiece of dominance on Monday night, their bats and arms converging in symphonic brilliance to overpower the Miami Marlins with a resounding 7-0 victory at the illustrious Yankee Stadium.

Juan Soto and Anthony Volpe, two pillars of the Yankees’ offensive onslaught, each unleashed thunderous three-run homers in the fourth inning off the beleaguered Jesus Luzardo. Their mighty blasts reverberated through the hallowed grounds of the baseball capital in the Bronx.

Yet, this triumph was not a solitary masterwork but a collaborative canvas crafted by a multitude of Yankees players. Nestor Cortes, the masterful conductor on the mound, wove an eight-inning scoreless tapestry, mesmerizing the Marlins with his artistry. Giancarlo Stanton, Alex Verdugo, Anthony Rizzo, and Jon Berti each contributed vibrant brushstrokes to the Yankees’ masterpiece, their talents intertwining seamlessly.

And in a moment of profound significance, Josh Maciejewski, summoned from the exalted halls of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, made his Major League debut in the ninth inning, adding the final flourish to this Yankees’ magnum opus with a scoreless frame.

Juan Soto celebrates Anthony after hitting a home run in the Yankees' 7-0 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 8, 2024.
NYY

Monday’s victory was a resplendent mosaic, a harmonious blend of power, finesse, and unwavering determination – a harbinger of greatness that left the Yankees’ faithful with a resolute belief that this year’s narrative would be one of triumph, a redemptive tale that would banish the anguish of last season’s disappointments.

Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ manager, saw in this triumph a reflection of his team’s steely resolve, a collective commitment to not succumb to the agonies of the past but to forge a new legacy, one brushstroke at a time.

“I think there’s an element of that,” he said. “I think it sharpened everyone’s focus into the winter and certainly spring training and the seriousness with how we got ready. We’re doing all we can to make sure to not let last year happen [again].”

Yankees shoulder responsibilities as a team

When the Miami Marlins strolled into the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium donning a dismal 1-9 record, the stage seemed set for a lopsided affair favoring the mighty Bronx Bombers. And as the game unfolded, the mismatch became even more pronounced.

Under the bright lights of the Bronx, Juan Soto, the Yankees’ star outfielder, etched his name into the annals of Yankee lore by crushing his inaugural home run at the iconic ballpark. The majestic blast left his bat at a blistering 107.7 miles per hour and soared 384 feet before finding its resting place, eliciting a thunderous standing ovation from the adoring faithful.

Anthony Volpe runs after hitting a home run in the Yankees' 7-0 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 8, 2024.
NYY

Soto’s pre-game ritual of signing autographs for fans in right field was barely complete before the first pitch was delivered, such was the anticipation in the air. And Nestor Cortes, the Yankees’ starting pitcher, wasted no time asserting his dominance, allowing just a solitary base runner through six innings – a one-out single to right in the fourth by Bryan De La Cruz.

Cortes’ masterful performance culminated in a sparkling eight-inning, two-hit shutout, the finest start by a Yankee hurler thus far this season.

The game’s pivotal moment arrived in the fourth inning when the Yankees’ bats erupted for a six-run outburst, breaking open the previously scoreless contest. The fireworks were ignited by the thunderous blasts of Anthony Volpe and Soto.

Giancarlo Stanton kick-started the onslaught with a leadoff single, and Anthony Rizzo’s base hit to right advanced Stanton to third base with no outs.

With runners at the corners, Volpe, who had already dazzled with a pair of stellar defensive gems at shortstop, worked the count to 1-2 before launching Jesus Luzardo’s slider deep into the left-field seats for his second home run of the campaign.

Alex Verdugo kept the line moving with a double down the left-field line, and Jose Trevino drew a four-pitch walk. Jon Berti then laid down a sacrifice bunt for the inning’s first out, setting the stage for further damage.

In the aftermath of the fourth-inning onslaught, the Yankees continued their relentless assault. Gleyber Torres lofted a fly ball to right field, its trajectory too shallow to permit Verdugo’s sprint home from third base. However, the indomitable Juan Soto seized the moment, unleashing a towering three-run blast that soared majestically into the right-field seats, extending the Yankees’ advantage to an imposing 6-0 lead.

Cortes’ Nasty act let Yankees flourish

As the Bronx faithful roared their approval, Nestor Cortes maintained his unwavering composure on the mound, cruising through the Marlins’ lineup with consummate ease. He retired the first 10 batters he faced with surgical precision before Bryan De La Cruz’s fourth-inning single briefly disrupted his rhythm. Undeterred, Cortes swiftly regained his dominance, setting down another eight consecutive hitters following the base hit, until De La Cruz once again managed a flare to center field to lead off the seventh inning.

Nestor Cortes is in action during eight shutout innings in the Yankees' 7-0 win vs. the Marlins at Yankee Stadium on April 8, 2024.
NYY

In stark contrast to his previous outings this season, where early struggles had plagued him, surrendering three runs in the opening frame, Cortes exhibited complete mastery over the Marlins’ offense, both early and late. His stellar performance was punctuated by six strikeouts and impeccable control that denied the opposition a single walk throughout his 102-pitch masterclass.

As the game reached its crescendo, Josh Maciejewski, recently summoned from the hallowed grounds of Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre, made his eagerly anticipated Major League debut in the ninth inning. With poise belying his rookie status, Maciejewski capped the evening’s triumph with a scoreless frame, cementing the Yankees’ dominance over their overmatched opponents.

With their third series victory in as many attempts to commence the young season, the Yankees now eagerly anticipate the final two clashes against the Miami Marlins, intent on extending their early-season supremacy on their home turf.

While Aaron Boone, the Yankees’ skipper, was quick to temper any premature exuberance, acknowledging the infant stages of the campaign, the signs of greatness displayed by his team evoked memories of their triumphant 2021 campaign, igniting hopes of a renewed journey towards glory.

“We didn’t like how we finished last year and then we picked up Soto,” Cortes said of the team’s motivation. “We got off to a hot start [in 2022]. This team is capable of sustaining this, especially when we get everybody back.”

The Yankees generated all the necessary offense in the fourth inning. Volpe, boasting the highest batting average in the Majors at .417, maintained his hot streak by connecting with a low slider from Miami starter Jesús Luzardo for a three-run homer.

“I think it’s contagious,” Volpe said. “Everyone has trust in each other that the next guy can get it done, so we want to come through.”

The Yankees advanced to a 9-2 record, mirroring the franchise’s strongest start over 11 games in history. This achievement aligns with their previous successes in seven other seasons: 1922, 1933, 1949, 1958, 1988, 2003, and 2020. Volpe emphasized his key observation as “the various methods through which we can secure victories.”

“We’ve won games coming from behind, playing from ahead. We’ve had the lineup pick it up, have the bullpen pick it up, have starters give us length. It’s been pretty well-rounded,” Volpe said.

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