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Yankees Ready To Try It Again

Spring threw a giant curveball – or more appropriately, a giant snowball – yesterday at the New York Yankees home-opener.

The Bronx Bombers were scheduled to host the Tampa Bay Rays at 1:00 pm, April 2, but Mother Nature had other plans, as snow rumbled into the Metropolitan Area, forcing the Yankees to postpone the game. The game has been rescheduled for 4:05 pm, today.

Although the snowflakes stopped before game time, the cleanup effort to remove over five inches of snow was a little too much for the Yankees heralded ground crew.

In a twist of irony, the Yankees had no weather-related issues in the more northern city of Toronto for last week's four-game series. Of course, the Blue Jays play in the Rogers Center, an indoor stadium.

The Yankees split the series with the Blue Jays, spoiling Toronto's home opener last Thursday and then taking the second game of the series before dropping the final two over the weekend. New York's bullpen, touted as one of the best in baseball, failed to hold leads in both losses.

Dellin Betances surrendered a solo home run over the center field in the eighth inning to Yangervis Solarte to put the Jays up, 4-3. The 6-10 right-handed reliever then gave up to a single to the speedy Kevin Pillar, who promptly stole, second, third, and home for an insurance run. Word has gotten around fast that Betances's motion is slow, and as it appears, the Blue Jays took good notes.

Per the Baseball Almanac, Pillar became the 51st Major Leaguer to steal three bases in one inning. Padre Wil Meyers was the last player to complete the trifecta, last year against the Philadelphia Phillies.

The following day, Toronto administered more pain to the Yankee relief core in the eighth inning by way of a Justin Smoak grand slam off David Robertson for a 7-4 victory. In the previous inning, Smoak's two-run dinger off Tommy Kahnle cut into the Yanks 4-1 lead.

In the eighth, Yankee Manager Aaron Boone elected to intentionally walk right-handed hitter Josh Donaldson to pitch to the left-handed Smoak. By Smoak's historical match-up numbers versus Robertson, a righty – 0-5 with four strikeouts – the move appeared correct. Smoak worked the count full, fouling off some tough breaking pitches. Robertson came in with a fastball that Smoak smoked over the center field wall.

“I threw everything I had at him,” said Robertson after the game. “He just won today.”

The Yankees hope to do the same today in their snow-postponed season opener, but the winner may be the rain, which has been falling all day.

Jordan Montgomery (LHP) is scheduled to pitch against Chris Archer (RHP) for the Yankee's home-opener.