It may only be the 4th game of the spring and we may be weeks away from games really meaning anything, but it's never too early to beat the Red Sox and that's just what the Yankees did this afternoon. Behind a mostly solid team pitching performance and some home run power from the top prospects, the Yanks picked up the W to get back to .500 this ST.
- The first blue chip 4-bagger came in the bottom of the 3rd, when Jorge Mateo got ahold of a knee-high knuckleball from Steven Wright that didn't knuckle and drove it off the bottom of the left field scoreboard. It was gone off the bat and he was quick around the basepaths, losing his batting helmet as he rounded first. You can see why some sites put him at the top of their top Yankee prospects list. He's got talent oozing out of him.
- The second homer came off the bat of Mateo's fellow top prospect Aaron Judge, who waited on a hanger in the 7th and hit it over the right field fence for a 3-run shot. The approach, the swing, and the result were A-Rod-esque if I may say so, and Judge seems to be benefiting from his new leg kick. It's helping him stay back on offspeed stuff and better cover the outside of the plate.
- Speaking of A-Rod, he went 2-2 with a pair of singles up the middle and a walk in his 3 trips to the plate. By my count, he's gotten 3 hits on 4 swings in his 2 games, so he's hitting the truest .750 in Spring Training history.
- Tyler Cloyd got the start this afternoon but he only worked 1 inning. In fact, every pitcher worked 1 inning as Joe used 9 pitchers to get through the game. Chasen Shreve and Johnny Barbato were the standouts, with perfect innings and 1 and 2 strikeouts respectively, and Nick Goody closed things out with a clean 9th, Mark Montgomery took it on the chin for 3 runs in the top of the 8th on a pair of meatball home runs.
- Jacoby Ellsbury made his 2016 debut and went 1-3 with a triple and a run scored. He looked good running the bases on the triple and I think we'd all love to see him get back to his early 2015 form.
- We found out during the broadcast that Nathan Eovaldi will make his debut on Thursday. He threw live BP this morning without issue, so that groin tweak sounds like it's a non-issue already. The bullpen big 3 will all get game action on Monday.