“It was really coming down, so obviously not surprised to get here and hear it was called pretty quickly,” Boone said. “It was going to be an ordeal to have any kind of a chance.”
Boone will be only the fourth new manager in the last 26 years when the game starts. Each of the previous three (Buck Showalter, Joe Torre, and Joe Girardi) were victorious in their respective home openers in 1992, 1996 and 2008.
Boone and the Yankees are coming off a four-game split at Toronto. Stanton homered twice in the season opener, but two questionable decisions by Boone factored into losses in the last two games.
On Saturday, Boone opted to keep Dellin Betances on the mound for a second inning and he gave up two runs in the eighth inning in a 5-3 loss. A day later, Boone opted to intentionally walk Josh Donaldson in the eighth and David Robertson allowed a grand slam to Justin Smoak in a 7-4 loss.
New York’s bullpen has allowed 11 runs so far and was used extensively after CC Sabathia lasted five innings Saturday and Sonny Gray went four Sunday.
“(The bullpen) is going to be a strength. I am confident of that,” Boone said. “Everything is a little bit magnified in the early days, good and bad. I’m really comfortable over time that those guys will continue to do their thing and not be just a strength, but I think an overwhelming strength of this club.”
Tampa Bay, which was the opponent for last year’s home opener played at a game-time temperature of 76 degrees, is hitting .190 after scoring nine runs in a four-game series against the Boston Red Sox. The Rays rallied for a 6-4 victory Thursday but dropped the next three and Brad Miller‘s home run was their only offense in Sunday’s 2-1 loss.
Despite those early struggles at the plate, the Rays are optimistic they will improve.
“I think it’s just a matter of time,” Miller said. “Everybody is getting their feet under them. Some of the big innings will start to happen.”
“We have guys who have a track record of hitting,” Rays manager Kevin Cash added. “They’re going to get going.”
The Rays will attempt to generate offense against Jordan Montgomery, who was originally slated to start Monday.
Montgomery was 9-7 with a 3.88 ERA in 29 starts as a rookie last season and made his major league debut on April 12 against Tampa Bay in New York’s second home game.
The left-hander is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in three starts vs. Tampa Bay, all at Yankee Stadium. He was 6-3 with a 3.43 ERA in 15 starts at Yankee Stadium and his ratio of 0.77 homers allowed per nine innings in New York is the sixth lowest by any Yankee with a minimum of 75 innings.
Tampa Bay was slated to start Austin Pruitt in its second “bullpen game” of the season but moved up Chris Archer one day for his second start.
Archer opened the season by allowing four runs and six hits in six innings Thursday against Boston but took a no-decision after Tampa Bay rallied.
Last season, Archer was 10-12 with a career-worst 4.07 ERA and was 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA in four starts against the Yankees.
Archer is 6-7 with a 2.96 ERA in 17 career starts against the Yankees and 3-3 with a 3.13 ERA in nine outings in New York.
The Yankees won 12 of 19 meetings with the Rays last season, including eight of 10 in New York.