CC Strong In Spring Debut; Yankees Top Phillies 6-4
Yankees beat the Phillies by a score of 6-4, improving their Spring Training record to 6-1. Balls were flying out of the yard, and it was encouraging to watch.
CC Sabathia got the start for the Yankees and he looked dominant. Locating all of his pitches with pinpoint accuracy and sharp movement on his slider made CC seem as if he was picking up where he had left off in 2017. He went 2 innings, striking out 3 and didn’t allow a base runner. All good things from the big man.
The offensive action started off in the top of the second frame for the Yankees. On the first pitch of the inning, Miguel Andujar’s solo bomb to left field (3) made it a 1-0 ballgame as he continues his hot start. The Yankees would load the bases on for Jacoby Ellsbury to pop out and end the inning.
In the top of the third inning, it was "deja vu all over again," as the late great Yogi Berra once said. This time with two outs in the inning, Miguel Andujar smacked another solo shot over the left center field wall (4) (in almost the exact same spot as his first HR) for his second big fly of the game. Andujar is really starting to build his case for being the opening day starting third baseman, even with the addition of Brandon Drury.
In the bottom of the 4th the Phillies would get one back. With Yankee hurler Domingo Germán on the mound, a homer to left field off the bat of Aaron Altherr (1) made it a 2-1 ballgame. That’s all the Phillies would get in the inning, however.
It seemed as though the fight for third base in the Bronx couldn’t get anymore interesting, but baseball is full of surprises. Brandon Drury reminds Yankee fans that he’s still here with his first homer of the spring. A solo shot to left.
Want more home runs? Sure. Top of the 6th and Tyler Austin steps up with a mammoth shot to dead center onto the walkway at Spectrum Field. Austin is a guy trying to make his way onto the opening day squad as the backup first baseman.
With new Yankee Wade LeBlanc taking over on the mound for Domingo Germán in the bottom of the 6th, he ran into some trouble. A double, a walk, a sacrifice bunt and then an RBI ground out would net the Phillies their second run. LeBlanc would strike out Andrew Pullin to end the inning and escape further damage.
Even more action in the 7th as Estevan Florial, the Yankees #3 prospect (according to MLB.com), tripled (3) off of veteran relief arm Pat Neshek to lead off the inning. If you haven’t noticed already, Florial can really fly around the bases. Ronald Torreyes would deliver a sac fly drive in Florial and make it a 5-2 game. Very next batter, Billy McKinney, blasted a no-doubter to straightaway right field, his second home run of the spring. McKinney showing some nice power early on.
Things got a little shaky in the bottom of the eighth. Giovanny Gallegos took over on the mound for Wade LeBlanc and went on to load the bases with no outs (a single and 2 walks). He then went on to allow a two-run double to Matt McBride to lessen the Yankees lead to 6-4. Help was on the way, as Ben Heller came in with no outs, men on 2nd and 3rd, and retired all three men he faced keeping the score right where it was. As far as Gallegos is concerned, his control just wasn’t there. Just a rough outing for the talented young RHP.
Bottom of the 9th, Heller still out there and painlessly ends the game with 3 straight ground outs to give the Yankees a 6-4 victory.
Fun game. 5 solo home runs in total for the Yanks, CC looked great and the battle for third base is really starting to heat up.
As for tomorrow, the Yankees face the Braves at 1:05 PM ET. Masahiro Tanaka will make his spring debut and will face off against Scott Kazmir. You can catch the game on the YES Network.