Yankees kickstart 2023 with a Opening Day win over Giants

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Judge’s home run and Cole’s strikeouts lead Yankees to a 5-0 win over the Giants

NEW YORK — After setting a record in 2022, Aaron Judge hit a home run on his first swing as Yankees captain, helping New York beat the San Francisco Giants 5-0 on the first day of the season.

Gerrit Cole (1-0) struck out 11 batters in six scoreless innings, which was a Yankees record for an opening day Yankee pitcher. In his first game in the major leagues, 21-year-old Anthony Volpe went 0 for 2, walked, stole a base, and made two good defensive plays.

In the fourth inning, Gleyber Torres hit a two-run home run, and in the seventh inning, DJ LeMahieu hit a run-scoring single, which was followed by Judge’s broken-bat RBI single.

Logan Webb (0-1) had 12 strikeouts in his first start, which was the most for the Giants in a season opener. Cole and Webb joined Dave McNally and Sam McDowell in 1970 and Max Scherzer and Jacob DeGrom in 2019 as the only opposing starters to have 10 or more strikeouts in an opener since 1901.

On the first day of the pitch clock, only J.D. Davis, who was at the plate in the ninth inning, didn’t follow the rules. On a sunny, 39-degree afternoon, the game took just 2 hours and 33 minutes to play in front of a sold-out crowd of 46,172 people.

Roger Maris set the American League record of 61 home runs in 1961, but Judge beat it by hitting 62 home runs last year. He became a free agent and was courted by San Francisco before signing a $360 million, nine-year deal with the Yankees. The Yankees named Judge their first captain since Derek Jeter retired at the end of 2014.

Aaron Boone, the manager of the Yankees, was afraid that Judge would be introduced by the Giants on the third-base line. Instead, Judge was in his usual spot in the outfield for the Bleacher Creatures Roll Call. He then took a strike and hit a thigh-high cutter 422 feet into the nets above Monument Park in center field for the first home run of the new MLB season.

Volpe, who had about 60 family members watching, walked on a full-count pitch in the third, grounded out in the fifth, and struck out in the seventh.

Cole gave up three singles and broke the Yankees record for strikeouts in an opener, which was set by Tim Leary with nine in 1991. Among the people he fanned was his brother-in-law, Brandon Crawford.

Wandy Peralta, Jonathan Loáisiga, and Ron Marinaccio finished a four-hitter, giving the Yankees their first shutout win on opening day since Rick Rhoden’s three-hitter in 1988.

The Giants played their first game in New York since 1956, when they beat Pittsburgh 4-3 at the Polo Grounds across the Harlem River. That was their next-to-last season before they moved to California.

In his first game with the Giants, Michael Conforto went 1 for 4 and struck out twice. After the 2021 season, he left the Mets and became a free agent. He missed last season because of an injury to his right shoulder.

In six innings, Webb gave up four runs. In 2017, Madison Bumgarner set a record for the Giants with 11 strikeouts in the first game of the season.

UP NEXT

Clarke Schmidt, a right-handed pitcher for New York  and Alex Cobb, a right-handed pitcher for San Francisco, are scheduled to start on Saturday, when rain is expected in the forecast.

What do you think about Opening Day? Leave a comment below.

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