DYK? Unpacking Didi's historic home opener

April 4th, 2018

The Yankees entered this season with perhaps the biggest offensive expectations of any club. A lineup headlined by , and is expected to challenge the all-time team home run record, but the Bronx Bombers have received an early boost from their shortstop.
Didi Gregorius' hot start to the 2018 season continued in full force during a cold, rainy home opener against the Rays on Tuesday, as he clubbed two home runs and a double and drove in eight total runs to power the Yankees' 11-4 victory. In doing so, Gregorius set a record for the most single-game RBIs recorded by a Yankees shortstop -- an impressive feat considering the caliber of shortstops New York has featured in its history.
That wasn't the only history Gregorius made Tuesday. Below are facts you should know about the shortstop's big afternoon in the Bronx.

• Per STATS LLC, Gregorius' eight runs batted in are the most recorded by any player in his team's home opener since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920.
• Gregorius became the first Yankee with eight or more RBIs in a game since Alex Rodriguez had 10 on April 26, 2005, against the Angels, also in the Bronx. A-Rod knocked three homers in that game -- off none other than .
• Gregorius is the 11th Yankee overall to enjoy a game with at least eight RBIs. Surprisingly enough, Babe Ruth was not one of them.

• Then-Pirate was the most recent Major Leaguer to drive in at least eight runs before Gregorius, racking up eight RBIs as part of a two-homer performance of his own against the Orioles last Sept. 26. Red Sox outfielder was the most recent American League player, plating eight runs against the Blue Jays on July 2 of last year.
• This marked just the second time that a player has recorded at least eight RBIs in a game against the Rays, with the first being an eight-RBI performance by another shortstop -- former Red Sox star Nomar Garciaparra -- on July 23, 2002. Garciaparra was also the most recent MLB shortstop to log an eight-RBI day, and Gregorius is now the seventh shortstop to achieve the feat since 1920.
• The other shortstops to drive in eight runs in a game: Miguel Tejada, Cal Ripken Jr., Chris Speier and Travis Jackson.
• Gregorius has recorded seven extra-base hits in this young season, tying Alex Rodriguez (2007) for the most knocked by any Yankee within the club's first five games of a season since at least 1908.

• The shortstop's two-homer day was just the second such game recorded by a Yankee in the team's home opener, joining outfielder Russ Derry on April 17, 1945, against the Red Sox at the old Yankee Stadium.
• Gregorius is the third Yankees shortstop to have a game with at least two home runs and six RBIs, along with Roy Smalley and Everett Scott. He's the fourth Yankees shortstop with at least two homers and three total extra-base hits in a game, along with Cody Ransom, Derek Jeter and Tony Lazzeri.

• The Yankees have already had three different players notch a multi-homer game in their first five games this season -- Gregorius, Stanton and . This is the earliest into a season the Bronx Bombers have ever had that many different players have multi-homer games. The previous fastest the team accomplished the feat was in 13 games in 1990 (Mike Blowers, Dave Winfield and Jesse Barfield).
• While Gregorius carried the offense, Stanton had a rough debut in pinstripes. Stanton put up a platinum sombrero -- five strikeouts in five at-bats. It was the first time in his career he struck out five times in a game.

• Stanton's afternoon marked the first platinum sombrero recorded in the Majors since Cubs infielder went 0-for-5 with five punchouts on July 25 of last year against the White Sox. It was just the fifth platinum sombrero suffered by a Yankee since at least 1908, and the first since Andy Phillips had a similarly tough day against Tampa Bay on May 2, 2005.
• Manager Aaron Boone led the team to a win in his Yankee Stadium debut, making him the sixth straight Yankees skipper to win his first home game with the team. The previous five: Joe Girardi (2008), Joe Torre (1996), Buck Showalter ('92), Stump Merrill ('90) and Bucky Dent ('89) -- who threw out one of the ceremonial first pitches on Tuesday.