There is something special about watching homegrown talent succeed. That's why, even though the first win of the season is always sweet, this one, with its distinct Yankee farm flavor, was definitely one to savor. From Andy Pettitte starting the ballgame to Mariano Rivera closing it out and everything in between, the Yankee farm system showed up, defensively and offensively, for a game the team needed to avoid an early season sweep.
Defensively Francisco Cervelli set the tone in the first inning by tagging Shane Victorino after he tried to go from second to home on a wild pitch. In the top of the fourth, Eduardo Nunez jumped up to snag a ball seemingly destined for the outfield and Brett Gardner sped to the wall to catch a deep fly ball to end the seventh inning, one of only two innings where the Boston offense really threatened.
The youngsters weren't the only ones getting into the defensive act as Andy Pettitte went eight strong innings, really only struggling in the seventh, and handed the ball off to the greatest closer in the history of baseball, Mariano Rivera. Rivera gave up one run and let the tying run come to the plate but struck out Jackie Bradley Jr. to save the first win of the season.
Offensively, Cervelli and Gardner each provided some surprising power with solo homeruns and Eduardo Nunez struck a key double in the second inning to set up a Lyle Overbay single that gave the Yankees their first lead of the season.
It wasn't all perfect for the farmhands as there were two caught stealing (Gardner & Nunez), some questionable base running (Gardner was also thrown out trying to reach second on a ball that bounced off the first base bag) and a brain cramp (Pettitte was slow to cover home plate in the first inning). Even Rivera showed he was human by giving up a run.
Nevertheless it was a win. Last night the formula worked. Stellar pitching + solid defense + just enough offense = a Yankees win. A special homegrown Yankees win.