One series hardly makes a season but man, the Yankees starting pitching is already cause for concern, imploding for a second time in three games as the Bombers lost in Tampa Wednesday night, 4-1 and lose two of three to open 2017.

Sandwiched between C.C. Sabathia’s shutout gem Tuesday were blunders by Marshio Tanaka and Michael Pineda, who’ve combined to get shelled for 11 earned runs and 16 hits in just 6.1 innings pitched.

A few thoughts:

♦ We’re only three days in and literally just one start, but 2017 Pineda looked an awful lot like 2016 Michael Pineda, and if the Yanks have any hopes of contending that simply cannot be the case.   Pineda allowed a leadoff home to Corey Dickerson on the third pitch of the game and things didn’t get much better, as he lasted just 3.2 innings while allowing four earned runs on eight hits.  The Yanks desperately needs consistency (in a good way) from Pineda, not the guy who looks like vintage Felix Hernandez one night and can’t get retire 12 batters five days later.

♦ Don’t look now but all-world catcher Gary Sanchez and spring training star Greg Bird are a combined 2-for-26 to start the season.

♦ The entire Yankees offense came via a second inning solo shot from Jacoby Ellsbury. It feels rather odd to see him hitting in the five hole but he’s rewarding Joe Girardi’s faith (or lack of better options) early.  Ellsbury’s off to a .455 clip at the plate—his trade value will never be higher.

♦ Chase Headley went 2-for-3 and is off to a scorching 7-for-11 start (.636). Last year Headley managed just 9 hits in 60 at April at bats.  

♦ The biggest bright spot for the Yanks early has been a stellar bullpen that including Wednesday hasn’t surrendered a run over 13.2 innings.  This time it was Tommy Layne, Adam Warren and Chasen Shreve combining for no runs —or hits allowed over 5.1 innings.

♦ The Yanks are off Thursday before traveling to Camden Yards to take on the Orioles Friday. Luis Severino gets the ball for New York, opposing Ubaldo Jimenz.  #BetTheOver