SF Giants Opening Day: Lineups, storylines, how to watch vs. Yankees
NEW YORK — Beneath blue skies, with first-pitch temperature a few degrees above freezing, the San Francisco Giants open their season Thursday at Yankee Stadium. For as rare as their home season opener was in 2022, opening on the East Coast — on one of baseball’s grandest stages, no less — is as much of a novelty.
The last time the Giants started a season outside of the Pacific Time Zone was 2016 in Milwaukee. They’ve done it only twice since 2010. And, at .500 in their past 10 season openers, they would gladly take either result (a 12-3 win in Milwaukee and 5-2 at Houston in 2010).
Opening Day is special, no matter the setting. But in the Bronx, under the iconic white facade, with monuments to the greats behind the center field wall only adds to it. And we haven’t even mentioned Aaron Judge yet. Whoops.
“Opening Day for us is a big stage. This one is a bigger stage than I think people are even giving it credit for,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “Your heart beats faster. You sweat a little more. Your adrenaline is going. It’s a thing. It’s not BS. The lights come on, the pressure gets to be a little bit more.”
It will be Logan Webb, making his second Opening Day start, against Gerrit Cole, making his fourth for the Yankees.
We will update this space with the Giants’ Opening Day lineup when it is released.
For now, here is the Yankees’ lineup:
- 2B DJ Lemahieu
- CF Aaron Judge
- 1B Anthony Rizzo
- RF Giancarlo Stanton
- 3B Josh Donaldson
- DH Gleybar Torres
- LF Oswaldo Cabrera
- C Jose Trevino
- SS Anthony Volpe
And here are three storylines to watch:
1. Going streaking: For the 17th consecutive season, the Giants were expected to start a different left fielder on Opening Day. Until lineups are released, the likeliest candidate appeared to be Blake Sabol, the Rule 5 catcher forced back into the outfield because of injuries. At full health, it should be newly signed Mitch Haniger and fellow free-agent addition Michael Conforto in the corners, but for now it should be Sabol opposite Conforto. Last year’s starter, Joc Pederson, remains on the roster, but the Giants are glad to see the streak hit 17, as they want to see as little of Pederson in the outfield as possible.
2. Brotherly love: Another streak is set to reach 12 years — Brandon Crawford’s run of Opening Day starts at shortstop. It’s the third-longest in the club’s San Francisco history, and Crawford is in some good company (Willie Mays, Barry Bonds). But this one should be extra special, with brother-in-law Gerrit Cole on the mound. There will be a large contingent of Crawfords and Coles on hand, but their split allegiances doesn’t make for a relaxing experience — including Brandon. “It’s not a fun at-bat,” said Crawford, who is 6-for-20 (.300) with a home run against his brother-in-law. Will the streak reach 13? Crawford’s contract expires after this season and has said he is contemplating his future.
3. Judge-ment day: While it was likely always going to be a different face in left field this year, they were hopeful that the new guy would be lining up alongside a 6-foot-7 force in center field. That large man, Aaron Judge, will be roaming center field at Yankee Stadium but will be in pinstripes, not road grays. While Kapler and his players this spring made it clear that their failed offseason pursuits were in the past, president of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi said that he hoped facing Judge would provide some “extra motivation.” Meanwhile, they will miss Carlos Rodón, who is out with a forearm strain.
Thursday, March 30 (10:05 a.m. PT) – RHP Logan Webb vs. RHP Gerrit Cole | TV: NBC Sports Bay Area
Saturday, April 1 (1:05 p.m. PT) – RHP Alex Cobb vs. RHP Clarke Schmidt | TV: FOX
Sunday, April 2 (10:35 a.m. PT) – RHP Ross Stripling vs. RHP Domingo German | TV: NBC Sports Bay Area