Scary Anthony Rizzo moment overshadows Juan Soto's first Yankees RBI

New York Yankees v Houston Astros
New York Yankees v Houston Astros / New York Yankees/GettyImages

Nestor Cortes put the New York Yankees in a hole on Opening Day. He allowed three runs in the first inning as his command was completely off, but that came as no surprise. He's coming off a shoulder issue and definitely isn't ready yet to deliver a starter's workload on Day 1.

But what about the offense? Some better expectations for that unit, right? Or so we thought! Turns out, more of the same carried over from 2023 ... and 2022 ... and 2021.

Through the first five innings of play, the Yankees stranded seven runners on 2-for-8 hitting with RISP. They loaded the bases three times in three separate innings and managed only three runs -- two of which came on a hit by pitch and a walk. They grounded into three double plays.

The other run, though, was an electric Juan Soto RBI, the first of his Yankees career. The lefty slugger went up and pummeled a Framber Valdez fastball into right field to bring home Jose Trevino. That made it 4-1, Astros.

Soto was the victim of poor umpiring in his previous two at-bats, though he did log a walk but was rung up on a horrible strike three call.

Juan Soto's notches first RBI as a Yankee as rest of offensive remains incompetent

But Yankees fans could hardly enjoy the moment. Aaron Judge stepped to the plate next with the bases loaded and nobody out, and he fell behind in the count with a terrible strike one call before check-swinging his way to a strikeout. Giancarlo Stanton was next. Struck out on a pitch low and away. Shocker.

Then came Anthony Rizzo, who endured a scary moment. A Framber Valdez fastball flew in on his hands and took him to the ground. Rizzo was hit by a pitch up and in, but stayed on the ground as he was clearly shaken up. And this is a guy who is often hit by pitches because of his tendency to crowd the plate. It really didn't seem like a good sign.

After everyone gasped for air as the start of the 2024 season flashed before their eyes, Rizzo thankfully got up and trotted to first base. He remained in the game and made a nice defensive play in tandem with Cortes to keep the Astros at bay the next inning.

And now the vibes are back! Oswaldo Cabrera tied things up at 4-4 with a solo home run off Rafael Montero (nice contract, Jim Crane!!).

Maybe things aren't so bad. And maybe we can appreciate Soto's first Yankees' RBI a little bit more with the tides slowly turning.

It's now a battle of the bullpens. May the good guys win.