WHAT IT MEANS: A season with reduced expectations began with a negative vibe. CC Sabathia wasn't his usual self and the Yankees' offense was basically what we all thought it would be. But it is just one of 162, so there needs to be some perspective after the Yankees' 8-2 loss to the Red Sox on Opening Day in the Bronx.
MISSING VELO: Sabathia couldn't crank his fastball consistently past 91 mph. Without the little extra oomph on Sabathia's heater, the Red Sox were able to take advantage of his inability to put them away.
Sabathia gave up a four-spot in the second, and his pitch count climbed to 102 by the fifth. Though Sabathia, coming off his elbow cleanup this winter, wasn't great, there is probably nothing to worry about with him yet. His final line was five innings, four runs, eight hits, four walks and five strikeouts. All the runs were earned.
Sabathia was outpitched by Jon Lester, who went five innings and allowed two runs.
THAT'S CERVELLI! A year ago, Francisco Cervelli was in shock, having been unexpectedly sent down on the final day of spring training. This season, Cervelli is the Opening Day catcher.
In the fourth, with the Yankees already down four runs and the crowd quiet, Cervelli stepped into the batter's box with two outs and the bases loaded. Cervelli came through with a two-run double to put his team on the board for the first time in 2013. The scoreboard highlighted the moment by having Cervelli dressed up like a cowboy with the moniker "Cisco Kid" in big letters.
On defense, in the sixth, Cervelli made a nice tag at the plate to get Jacoby Ellsbury, who tried to score on a grounder to third.
SEVENTH-INNING STENCH: Down three runs, the Yankees began the seventh with walks from Cervelli and Brett Gardner, but Eduardo Nunez and Robinson Cano struck out against lefty Andrew Miller. Righty Andrew Bailey entered to face Kevin Youkilis. Youkilis, who had a double in his Yankees debut and seemed to be embraced by the fans here, struck out as well.
CROWD CONTROL: The Yankees announced the largest Opening Day crowd for the new stadium (49,514). By the seventh, with the Yankees down three runs and the temperature dropping, about half (at least) had left. By the ninth, they were almost all gone.
JOBA WILD: Joba Chamberlain started the ninth, but he didn't finish it. Instead, he gave up three runs on three hits and two walks. He also inspired a lot of Twitter reaction because of his new dyed mustache.
ON DECK: Our Opening Day rotation includes Wallace Matthews, Ian O'Connor, Kieran Darcy and me. We will have columns, blogs and all the news coming from the clubhouse. Ian will handle the entire day, from Alex Rodriguez to the lack of offense. Wally will go deeper into CC's issues on Monday. Kieran will write about Youkilis' and Cervelli's days, while I'll put together a notebook. As always, thanks for reading.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: What were your impressions of Opening Day?