After 151 days of offseason rumors, trade speculation and roster reshuffling, Opening Day has returned in all of its glory and spectacle. The Yankees and Rays kicked off the first of three games scheduled for Sunday afternoon, pitting Masahiro Tanaka against Chris Archer in a battle of aces during the Rays’ home opener.
Tanaka, who looked unflappable with an 0.38 ERA in spring training, stumbled out of the gate. He allowed four hits and three runs in the first frame of the game and surrendered a two-run jack to Rays’ third baseman Evan Longoria in the second inning:
The Rays tacked on another two runs in the third, effectively forcing Tanaka out of the game after just 2 2/3 innings. According to ESPN Stats and Info, Mel Stottlemyre was the club’s last Opening Day starter to allow 7+ runs in less than three innings, a feat he accomplished when he was tabbed for eight runs during the 1973 Yankees’ 15-5 beatdown by the Red Sox.
Tanaka wasn’t the only one to make history on Sunday, however:
There’s little that should be read into any one game in April, no matter how disastrous or successful. Still, it’s a reassuring start for the Rays as they come off of an injury-riddled 2016 campaign. The Yankees, meanwhile, will likely be grateful for an off day on Monday as CC Sabathia prepares to take the mound for Game 2 on Tuesday.