Spring Game 16: TOR vs. NYY — Sabathia returns for the loss

CC Sabathia started tonight’s game against the visiting Blue Jays for his Spring debut, his first game since May 10, 2014, due to a knee injury. After a quick 1-2-3 1st inning, Sabathia struggled to find that easy momentum in his 2nd inning, giving up 4 hits and 2 runs. A lead-off single, followed by 2 outs, made way for an RBI double and an RBI single to give the Blue Jays a quick 2-0 lead. The final play of that inning was a double into left field, where Brett Gardner fielded it quickly and threw it home (via shortstop Gregorius) to the waiting McCann for the out at home to end the inning.

In the bottom of the 2nd, Jones and Young on base with a walk and a single, it’s Stephen Drew to hit Jones home on his nice single into left field. 2-1 Toronto

Dellin Betances came on in relief in the 3rd inning and struggled, something very un-Betances-like. Despite hitting 101 mph during the inning, Betances allowed a lead-off triple that ended up scoring on a ground out. A walk was quickly erased when Betances helped catch the runner drifting too far off base in a rundown. 3-1 Toronto

In the 4th inning, Mark Teixeira smacked a solid line drive just barely over the left-center field for a lead-off solo home run. 3-2 Toronto

After a nice outing by Wilson in the 4th, reliever Kyle Davies gave up a lead-off single in the 5th. That runner stole 2nd and advanced to 3rd on a throwing error. This meant he could easily score on a ground out. 4-2 Toronto (Though I was not impressed with the unsportsmanlike conduct of the runner to one of the Yankees’ infielders. In soccer, he would’ve been yellow-carded.)

The Yankees’ pitching staff of German, Martin, and Burton finished off the game, keeping the Jays from adding to their score, but the Yankees’ offense never really compiled much together. With a lone exception. In the bottom of the 9th inning, with 2 outs, Jose Pirela got a solid hit out to center field and ran his way all the way to 3rd — a very nice, very solid triple. There has been quite a few “conversations” about Pirela this Spring already, and tonight was just the latest reason as to why. Pirela is the whole package — offense, defense, and great teammate. It will be very interesting to see where he lands come April.

Roster moves (aka “who got sent to minor league camp today): before the game, the Yankees optioned Gary Sanchez to AA Trenton; following the game, pitchers Domingo German (who pitched tonight) and Branden Pinder were optioned to their respective divisions (German – A Tampa, Pinder – AAA Scranton); also, Greg Bird and Kyle Roller are now on their way to minor league camp following their appearances in tonight’s game.

Well, it’s never fun to lose a game, but at least tonight’s game was in pleasant weather — a cool, Florida Spring breeze under the stadium lights and a clear night sky. The atmosphere an easy-going, pleasant manner, even when fans seemed to disagree with a call or cheer/jeer as they do. So basically, the exact opposite what I’ve experienced at the Blue Jays Spring games (though not a true reflection of their regular minor league season). As if I needed another reason to be glad I’m a Yankees fan…

Go Yankees!

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