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A-Rod finishes strong.It was a shaky start for Alex Rodriguez today in the Yanks opener against Tampa. 10 minutes after the first pitch he misjudged a foul pop-up and earned his first error and first round of boos of the young season. Many a Yankee fan let out a sigh when A-Rod started out the season with an error, myself included. However, I’m glad to say, the fans got a chance to make up those boos to A-Rod, in spades.

Rodriguez sealed the game with a two-run bomb in the bottom of the eighth, but his largest impact on the game came in the seventh. Arod led off the inning with a single, promptly stole second base, setting up Giambi who knocked him in with a single of his own to give the Yanks a 6–5 lead. This is what makes A-Rod such a special player, the ability to change the game in so many ways. His leg work, literally, energized the team.

If we saw this type of effort from A-Rod on a daily basis, the back page of the Post would have to find someone else to talk about. Great start for #13. Filed under “Not so good” is Carl Pavano’s first pitch in anger since 2005. Pavano’s line: 4.1 innings, 4 earned runs, 6 hits, 2 walks, 2 K’s. The Yanks pen came in and threw 4.2 innings, giving up 3 hits 0 walks and allowed the Yanks come back from the 5–3 hole Pavano had dug for them.

It’s only opening day, it’s only one game, but this just isn’t going to cut it. I don’t care what the Yanks, or their mouthpieces, are saying. This was a dismal outing by Pavano, and this bullpen cannot handle pitching 4.2 innings regularly. Luckily, tomorrow is an off day, and Proctor wasn’t needed, so this one shouldn’t have any short-term repercussions.

Player of the game: Alex Rodriguez (2–5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 SB) 

Notes from the game:

  • Mildly racist sponsorship of the day: Hideki Matsui’s at-bats are sponsored by Benihana.
  • Elijah Dukes looks like Lawrence Taylor, I know this because Suzyn Waldman told the same anecdote about Dukes several times throughout the game.
  • Henn and Bruney up with no outs in the fifth inning, get used to this Yankees fans.
  • I love it when radio broadcasters consider 4.1 IP, 4 earned runs, 6 hits, 2 walks and 2 K’s a “Pretty good outing for Pavano.”
  • Top Sixth: Melky enters the game, 5 innings too late.
  • Johnny Damon left the game with “calf cramps,” very odd.
  • Melky tripped over himself, double off second on a fly out by Abreu.
  • Bot. Seventh: Great sequence for A-Rod: Single, stolen base, scores on a single.
  • John Sterling on a Kyle Farnsworth pitch: “A stream of milk, at 98.”
  • Bot. Eighth: Standing O for A-Rod, well-deserved after 2–run bomb.
by Brian on Apr 2 2007