April 23, 2018

Stanton homers twice in debut, Yankees beat Blue Jays

30 March 2018, 08:04 | Kristopher Drake

That's what we tell ourselves, anyway.

The move countered the big offseason trade of slugger Giancarlo Stanton to the Yankees. And in the ninth, he put a capper on his afternoon by launching a solo blast to the upper deck in Rogers Centre's centerfield, making him the first Yankee since Roger Maris in 1960 to hit multiple homers in his NY debut.

Stanton, meanwhile, hit 59 home runs himself in Miami last season, the most by anyone since Barry Bonds.

Stanton's first shot came with one out in the first off Toronto starter J.A. Happ.

Stanton, known for his prodigious blasts, walloped a two-run homer on Thursday in his first at-bat as a Yankee, giving his team an early 2-0 lead over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Yes, get used to it.

The Yankees will have to get by without Greg Bird for the first six to eight weeks of the season, similar to the Mets, who are temporarily without the services of Michael Conforto. It was the hardest opposite-field home run ever recorded by Statcast, according to a tweet from's David Adler. The miserable offensive showing matched the weather conditions in Toronto, where rain drizzled outside the domed Rogers Centre all day.

Get used to home runs that soar into the second deck in center field, as Stanton's second home run of the day did. Stanton's addition provides for a power-hitting duo the likes of which we have not seen maybe since Maris and Mantle. We got 10-plus hits. Until Thursday he had played his entire career with the Marlins until he was traded to the Yankees on December 11.

Stanton arrived from Miami with 11 years and $295 million remaining on the contract he signed with the Marlins in 2014. His spring emphasis on hitting the ball the other way is only going to help, with Yankee Stadium's short porch in right field.

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On the eve of his second full season with the New York Yankees, reigning American League Rookie of the Year Aaron Judge contends he is feeling at ease heading into the new campaign, despite heightened expectations around him. The league reminded the Yankees that using images of players for advertising like that is not allowed.

Amid all the (deserved) fuss over Judge and Stanton, Sanchez has become something of a forgotten man, even though it was him who arrived in the majors with a thunderclap in the summer of 2016, hitting 20 home runs in about two months.

There will be, of course, huge challenges for Stanton and the Yankees in the next 161 games.

Meanwhile, New York pitcher Luis Severino (1-0) picked up where he left off in his breakout season a year ago, allowing just one hit over 5 2/3 scoreless innings. In the 7-game series, the Yanks had compiled 22 runs to Houston's 20 and 45 hits to 40. It's what he does. Thursday's game was the 987th of his career.

Said Cashman afterward: "We want him to impact us in the win column".

My trusty calculator says that means he homers once every 3.7 games.

Gardner's leadoff at-bat culminated when reached base as his routine liner to left was muffed by veteran Curtis Granderson for an excruciating season-opening error. Luis Severino threw one-hit ball over 5 2/3 scoreless innings for the Yankees. "If I'm on time and I get my foot down and my barrel there, all I need is a chance".

Follow Danny on Twitter and talk baseball.

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