As the Yankees travel to Boston to face the winless Red Sox this weekend, here are some notes and nuggets to get you caught up on what the boys in pinstripes did during the first week of the 2011 season...
HAPPY OPENING DAY IN THE BRONX
The Yankees tamed the Tigers on Opening Day 6-3, and won their 11th straight season opener played at home. The last time the Yankees lost an Opening Day game in the Bronx was 1982 -- when Derek Jeter was hitting .300 for his Kalamazoo Little League team. The Elias Sports Bureau tells us that the only other team to win 11 consecutive Opening Day games at home was the Mets from 1971-89.
In that game, Russell Martin showed off his speed, stealing third base in the third inning. Only two other Yankee catchers have stolen third base in the last 35 seasons: Matt Nokes and Thurman Munson.
WELCOME TO APRIL, MR. TEIXEIRA
Mark Teixeira -- despite an 0-for-3 effort on Thursday -- appears to have put his first-month woes in the past. Teixeira blasted four homers in the first five games, matching the franchise record for most homers in the first five games of the season, while his 10 RBI during those five games was just one shy of the record set by Mickey Mantle in 1956 and Alex Rodriguez in 2007.
Three of those longballs were of the three-run shots, as he became just the fourth player in major-league history to hit three homers with at least two runners on base in the team's first five games, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. He joins Charles Johnson in 2000, Mark McGwire in 1998 and Brant Alyea in 1970 in this home run “hat trick” club.
MARIANO MAKES HISTORY
Even at the age of 41, Mariano Rivera shows no signs of slowing down, as he has saved all four of the Yankees wins to start the season. This is the first time in his career he has recorded four saves within the first six games of the season, and he’s the first Yankee ever to save four of the team’s first six games. In the ridiculous world of “he is on pace for...”, Mariano would finish the season with 108 saves.
THE GOOD A.J.
A.J. Burnett had arguably the worst season ever by a Yankees starter last year. His 5.26 ERA and his opponent OPS of .824 were both the highest marks by any Yankee pitcher that threw at least 175 innings in a season.
But it’s a new year, a new pitching coach, and a new month for Burnett -- a month in which he has had a lot of success during his time in the Bronx. A.J. has won his first two starts of the season following his two-run, six-inning effort on Thursday, and is now 7-0 in April while wearing pinstripes.
He still probably has a few more April starts to go... but this nugget is impressive nonetheless: The only other Yankee pitcher since the end of WWII with a better undefeated record in April was Don Larsen, who finished his Yankee career 8-0 in the first month of the season.
Katie Sharp is a researcher with ESPN Stats & Information