Spring Training Game 3 Quick Recap: NYY 2 PIT 1

It was a change of Pennsylvania opponent for the Yankees in their third game of the young Spring Training season this afternoon, and that change brought them their first win of 2015.  Not much to this one really.  Here are the important things:

– Starter Esmil Rogers threw 2 scoreless innings, giving up 1 hit and striking 1 out.  I know a lot of people aren’t high on him, but I could see the Yankees trying to use him in an Alfredo Aceves/Cory Wade-type of role as an emergency starter/low-leverage longman.  If they start the season with him in that spot and he doesn’t deliver in 10-15 innings, cut him.

Chase Whitley followed Rogers with 2 shutout innings of his own, but the standout pitching performance of the day belonged to righty relief prospect Nick Rumbelow.  He struck out the side in the 8th inning, showing off the stuff that brought him from A-ball to SWB last year.…

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Spring Training Game 2 Recap: PHI 3 NYY 1

Alex Rodriguez

Just one of the boys. Courtesy of the AP

Yesterday was the official opener, but today was the real big day thanks to the return of Alex Rodriguez to game action.  Joe had him in the starting lineup hitting second and DH’ing, and all in all the day went about as well as you could have hoped if you’re pro-A-Rod.  He got a hit, looked alright swinging the bat and running the bases, got noticeably more cheers than boos from the crowd, and didn’t hurt himself.  He was the clear and obvious focal point of the day, and also one of the few highlights in a mostly nothing game from the Yankee side.

– The other major highlight was Nathan Eovaldi‘s first start as a New York Yankee.  Like Adam Warren, he was on a 2-inning/30-pitch limit and he finished the full 2 innings.  Unlike Warren, he got hit a little bit and gave up 1 earned run.  Eovaldi also showed his trademark plus fastball velocity and a nice split-change that got him his only strikeout of the day on a swing and miss.…

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Spring Training Game 1 Recap: NYY 5 PHI 5

Adam Warren

Courtesy of the AP

The Yankees opened their Spring Training 2015 game schedule this afternoon, giving us our first look at live Yankee baseball in over 5 months.  Obviously expectations were low given the situation, but there was a little extra excitement on the Yankee side thanks to the high number of top current and former organizational prospects playing in today’s game.  A couple of those top prospects had big moments in the game too, so that was pretty sweet from a fan perspective.

It’s still very early, the players are still more focused on getting in game shape than actually performing, and so I think it’s only fair that those same rules apply to ST game recaps.  I’m just trying to get back in the right game recap timing again, you know?  Still getting the feel for my game recap stuff back.  To make sure I don’t over-exert and strain anything, I’m gonna cover the rest of this bad boy in bullet points.…

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Game 159 Recap: Yankees 6 Orioles 5

Jeter vs BAL

Courtesy of Getty Images

Could it have ended any other way?  Absolutely CLASSIC finish last night at The Stadium, as Derek Jeter went out in style and drove in the game-winning run with a walk-off base hit in the bottom of the 9th to beat the O’s.  Goosebumps, cheers, tears, you had it all going if you saw this one.  What a moment, what a win.  Awesome.

And to think it all started pretty horribly.  With the game barely underway in the top of the 1st, Baltimore took a 2-0 lead on a pair of solo home runs by Nick Markakis and Alejandro De Aza.  5 minutes, 8 pitches, 2 runs.  Just like that Hiroki Kuroda was in an early hole.

Except he wasn’t.  Kuroda was lockdown nasty from those first 2 batters of the game on, allowing only 1 more hit and no walks through 8 innings.  That hit came in the top of the 3rd.  After that, Kuroda retired the final 16 batters he faced, 13 of them on the infield.  …

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Game 158 Recap: Orioles 9 Yanks 5

Greene vs BAL

Pitched more like Browne today. Courtesy of Getty Images

It’s official.  The Yankees will not be participating in the postseason for the second straight year.  In the lone afternoon game of this final home series, they inched ahead early only to have their starting pitching blow up soon after and give away the lead in quick fashion.

It was a misleading start for Shane Greene if you were following on Gameday like I was.  He retired the first 2 innings in order and struck out 2 in the 2nd, but he really didn’t have great command and he was missing some spots.  That started to show through in the 3rd when he loaded the bases with 2 2-out walks before escaping.  It came bursting through in the 4th when the Orioles’ first 2 hitters got on with singles, a Ryan Flaherty bases loaded double gave them 3 runs, and 3 straight 2-out hits (single, triple, bunt single) made it a 6-run inning and ended Greene’s day.  …

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Game 157 Recap: Orioles 5 Yankees 4

McCarthy vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Brandon McCarthy has been so good since joining the Yankees that you almost forget he had plenty of starts like last night’s before coming here.  He had them with such regularity for the D’backs that they traded him for 60 cents on the dollar.  That’s why he’s here in the first place.  It’s a tough way to end the year for him and it was a tough near-comeback loss for the Yankees to put them on the brink of official postseason elimination.

McCarthy’s problems came early and often.  He gave up a home run to Kelly Johnson to lead off the 2nd and surrendered another run in that inning on 3 singles.  Nick Markakis took him deep for a 2-run homer on a hanging curveball in the 4th, and Nelson Cruz completed the yardjob trifecta with a leadoff solo shot to left in the 5th.  McCarthy got tagged for 5 runs on 11 hits in 5.1 innings of work.  …

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Game 156 Recap: Yankees 5 Orioles 0

Pineda vs BAL

Courtesy of the AP

Michael Pineda.  That’s all you really need to know about last night’s game because that’s all the Yankees needed to win it.  JV lineup aside, Pineda was positively filthy last night and shut the Baltimore hitters down to lead his team to a 1-hit shutout victory.

It didn’t take long for Pineda to dial it in.  He retired the first 13 Orioles he faced into the 5th inning  and never had a runner reach second base through 7.  He had 1 strikeout in every inning from the second to the 5th and 2 each in the 6th and 7th to give him 8 on the night.  All 8 of then were swinging.  Pineda had everything working: a fastball with late life, a cutter with great movement and location, a slider with biting late action, and even some good changeups.  This was the dream the Yankees had in mind when they made the trade and it was a reality last night.  …

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Game 155 Recap: Yankees 5 Jays 2

Tanaka vs TOR

Great hair. Courtesy of Getty Images

A win this afternoon would have been nice.  It would have given the Yankees a 3-1 series victory in the 4-game weekend set against their division rival.  But in the grand scheme of things it didn’t matter.  What mattered was getting a look at Masahiro Tanaka and seeing how he pitched and how his elbow held up after over 2 months on the DL.  It was an abridged version of a typical Tanaka start, but it was enough to give a little hope at the end of a long, hopeless season.

It didn’t start out great.  The first 2 Jays hitters singled to start the game, and 1 run scored on an Edwin Encarnacion GIDP.  That got Tanaka back on track quickly and he struck out Dioner Navarro on 3 pitches to end the inning.  He gave up only 1 more hit in the next 4 innings and was mixing pitches well to get easy outs.  …

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Game 154 Quick Recap: TOR 6 NYY 3

Jeter-Teix vs TOR

Courtesy of Getty Images

I was in attendance at yesterday’s game.  I guess the Yankees didn’t get the message that they were supposed to keep the winning streak going with me there.  They couldn’t hold an early 1-run lead and got doubled up 6-3 by the Blue Jays.

Toronto actually got on the board first against starter Chris Capuano.  Jose Bautista singled and Edwin Encarnacion doubled him home for a 1-0 lead.  It was the first of many tough times the Yankee pitchers would have against those 2.  Capuano settled down after that and pitched the next 4 innings scoreless, giving his offense the chance to take the lead with 1 run in the 3rd (Jeter single, wild pitch, McCann single) and 1 in the 4th (3 singles in a 4-batter span, the ribbie hit by Francisco Cervelli).

The 2-1 lead only lasted until the 6th, when Capuano walked Bautista to lead off the inning, appeared to tire, and got into big trouble.  …

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