NEW YORK, NY – Opening Day, an American holiday, always provides truckloads of hope throughout the country, and even though it’s one game it was clear yesterday that there is also a significant amount of expectation on New York’s baseball teams.
The New York Yankees opened their season Thursday in the Bronx against an Orioles team with the talent level of an AA baseball team. No one in the Bronx was surprised at the end result, but the electric bat of Luke Voit turned heads all around the league.
Voit made his season debut in the clean-up spot for the Yankees and justified that decision by hitting a 1st inning home run into monument park and reaching base every time he came to the plate. The Yankees have found a diamond in the rough that is dripping in confidence now that he has been able to find consistent playing time with the Bronx Bombers. It will be an unstoppable line-up if Voit can continue his development and cement his spot.
In the nation’s capital, the New York Mets began their season against the masterful Max Scherzer and the Harper-less Washington Nationals. The pitching duel was as good as advertised but one of the new additions to the Mets line-up stole the show almost immediately.
Robinson Canó, 36, doesn’t care if you think he’s old. His bat is still one of the most powerful in MLB and it was showcased in the 1st inning with a gorgeous home run to left-center field against perennial Cy Young candidate Scherzer. Later in the game Canó helped the Mets out of a jam with a savvy play at home and drove in the insurance run to help close out the game.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway is already a huge fan of the offseason trade that brought Canó and Edwin Díaz to the Mets and shared his thoughts on Canó’s day.
“It shows the rest of the team not only how to play the game, but what winning is all about. It’s doing things that you wouldn’t normally do, whether it’s taking Scherzer back up the middle for a homer, fighting off a good pitch for an RBI or making a heads-up baseball play. That’s what it takes to win,” Callaway said.
Canó and deGrom’s continued excellence propelled the Mets to an Opening Day victory.
Both New York teams are facing substantial expectations this year. The Mets are expected to at least make the playoffs even though they play in the toughest division baseball. The Yankees are the World Series favorite in the eyes of many. The pressure of these expectations can demoralize a team, but it’s also a sign of belief, that both the Mets and Yankees can and should be successful.
The season has just started, but both teams are off to a great start. 161 games to go.