One game too small of a sample size

04/03/2013 4:47 PM ET
By Joe Auriemma

Joe Girardi's Yankees were down after their Opening Day loss, but far from out.(AP)
Opening Day was not the start the Yankees wanted to the 2013 season, especially after all of the talk of their demise in a very trying offseason and Spring Training. However, panic mode amongst fans should be tempered. It still was just one game.

CC Sabathia is a known slow starter. In fact, in his five Opening Day starts as the New York Yankees ace, he's a very un-Sabathia-like 0-2 with a 7.42 ERA. After starting out the first inning strong, Sabathia had a rough second that just spiraled out of control. Even with his rough four-run inning, the Yankees truly in the game for most of the contest until the very end.

"We had our opportunities. We weren't able to cash in in the seventh when we had an opportunity to possibly tie the game up, so I don't necessarily feel that way," Joe Girardi said after the game when asked if he felt discouraged with the offensive effort.

The Bombers are riddled with injuries and need to stay competitive until their big horses come back. Each returning player marks a milestone for this ballclub that is trying to find its identity early on. This is a team that's not going to blast 245 home runs like they did last season, however, with good pitching, which they have and timely hitting they can find their own recipe for success.

"I think I have a pretty good feel for our lineup," Girardi said. "As far as being a different type of lineup, yes we are a different kind of lineup. No doubt about that. We're not a club that is just going to hit home runs. We're going to have to score runs other ways."

One game is too small of a sample size to hit the panic button. The problem is there is a lot of hype surrounding Opening Day, when in reality it is just one game in the first series of the season. If a downward trend continues, then it may be time to worry, but as YES broadcaster Ken Singleton always says, "You can't truly judge a ballclub until at least a quarter of the way into the season."

By that time the Yankees may very well be a different team with some of their returning stars. With that being said, this team as currently constructed can compete and win, especially with quality of the pitching staff. It certainly didn't help the situation that the Yankees had the Opening Day loss with a day off afterward causing more panic amongst the fan base.

New acquisition Vernon Wells put it best after the loss on Monday by saying, "We didn't play well enough to win today (Monday), but you take the good things from it and learn from the bad and take the day off tomorrow and get back out there on Wednesday."

Only time will tell to see what the Yankees have here in 2013. They certainly could surprise their harshest critics or they could be the team that all of the critics have panned. Either way, it's too early to make that call.

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