Opening Day: Yankees at Rays
April 6, 2012, 3:10 p.m. ET, Tropicana Field, St. Petersburg, Fla.
TV / Radio: YES, MLB Network, WCBS 880 AM
Opening Day starts are nothing new for CC Sabathia — this is the ninth of his career and his fourth in a Yankees uniform alone — but even the left-handed ace says he still gets those jitters before throwing the first pitch of his team’s season.
“It’s still definitely exciting to be able to take the ball for the organization’s first game and try to start the season off right,” Sabathia said. “(There are) a lot of butterflies, but as soon as you get out there, it feels normal.”
That’s what the Yankees are hoping as they begin this 162-game journey toward what they expect will be a 28th World Series championship, taking place in their 110th season in franchise history. The Yankees are beginning a tough April that should serve as a good barometer of just how solid this team really is.
“You say you don’t make too much out of one game, and some months are going to be tougher than other months,” Joe Girardi said. “You don’t want to make too much out of the first month, but it’s a great measuring stick of where we’re at.”
Here is the Opening Day lineup:
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Robinson Cano 2B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Raul Ibanez DH
Russell Martin C
Brett Gardner LF
Pitching: CC Sabathia LHP (19-8, 3.00 ERA last season)
Desmond Jennings CF
Ben Zobrist RF
Evan Longoria 3B
Jeff Keppinger DH
Sean Rodriguez SS
Carlos Pena 1B
Elliot Johnson 2B
Jose Molina C
Matt Joyce LF
Pitching: James Shields RHP (16-12, 2.82 ERA last season)
- This is Derek Jeter’s 16th Opening Day start at shortstop, a franchise record. The previous franchise record was held by Phil Rizzuto (11). The last shortstop with as many Opening Day starts at shortstop for any team was the Reds’ Barry Larkin (17).
- Alex Rodriguez has hit safely in all seven Opening Days he has played with the Yankees, batting .400 (12-for-30) with four doubles, two homers and nine RBIs.
- The Yankees were 18-12-3 (.600) this spring, their best spring since 2009, when they were 24-10-1.
- On this date in 1973, Ron Blomberg became the Majors’ first DH, walking with the bases loaded in the first inning off the Red Sox’s Luis Tiant in his first plate appearance. He went 1-for-3 with an RBI as the Yankees lost at Fenway Park, 15-5.
- On this date in 1974, the Yankees played their first home game at Shea Stadium as Yankee Stadium began a two-year remodeling effort. They defeated the Indians, 6-1, as Mel Stottlemyre pitched a complete game and permitted seven hits.