The Yankees return to New York and the fourth home opener at the new Yankee Stadium coming off an uneven season-opening road trip. After getting swept in Tampa Bay, the Yankees pulled the same on the Orioles, winning twice in extra innings.
“Well, I can tell you, [the season] started,” manager Joe Girardi told reporters in Baltimore. “These games have been a lot of Yankees baseball. Long, extra innings, but yeah, there’s something about going home and really feeling like the season’s really started when you go home.”
The first six Yankee games have taken a little over a combined 21 1/2 hours and featured a mixed bag from the manager and his players.
That includes new Yankees starter Hiroki Kuroda, who will start Friday’s home opener. His first start lasted 5 2/3 innings and saw him allow four earned runs and eight hits Saturday against Tampa Bay.
“Obviously a lot [needs to change],” Kuroda told reporters. “There are a lot of things that I won’t know until the day I pitch. It depends on how I feel that day after the bullpen. I really can’t tell you until the day that I start. It doesn’t really matter where I pitch, it matters how I feel that day.”
Before Kuroda throws his first pitch at Yankee Stadium, Jorge Posada will throw out the ceremonial first pitch.
“I can’t wait,” Girardi said. “It seems like we’ve been gone forever. I think we’re all anxious to get back and play at home, in front of our home crowd. We’re fortunate. Wherever we travel, we still have a lot of fans, but home is still home.”