I think we can officially call today a really beautiful Spring day in Florida. The sun was shining in a bright blue cloudless sky, and a recent cold front (that pushed that heavy rain through the areas yesterday) dropped temperatures to a nice 69-degree day. It was like a perfect day for a baseball game.
The visiting Orioles apparently thought so too.
Okay, let’s get the tough news out of the way first — and it’s the pitching. It reminds me of this online acronym that people use (well, by “people” I mean people who are under 25 and don’t use full words let alone complete sentences to say what they want to say) — SMH. It means “Shaking My Head”, or I have no words and am forced just to shake my head at the situation because it’s so disappointing. That was the Yankees pitching today.
But it didn’t start that way. The 1st inning was a quick 1-2-3 inning for starting pitcher Scott Baker. But digging into the heart of the Orioles order opened the door for some trouble for Baker in the 2nd inning. A single, a force out, a single, and a single — suddenly bases loaded with 1 out. A sacrifice fly scored the first run and opened the flood gates. An RBI single and a 3-run home run, and suddenly, the Orioles were up 5-0 going into the 3rd inning.
3rd inning reliever Jacob Lindgren got into his own sticky situation — 2 singles and a walk loaded the bases, but only 1 run scored that inning on a sacrifice fly. The next two pitchers Bailey and Shreve kept the 4th and 5th inning run-free from the Orioles. But Dellin Betances continued his struggles this Spring in his 6th inning outing, quickly getting runners on the corners which allowed another run to score on a sacrifice fly (honestly, the Orioles fed off these today).
Then it was Justin Wilson’s turn to take the mound and dealt the Orioles a quick 1-2-3 7th inning before finding his own sticky situation in the 8th — a lead-off walk and a single put 2 runners on base that would easily score on a long double. And it would be Nick Rumbelow’s turn in the 9th inning to allow a lead-off home run to cap off the Orioles massive scoring day. A total of 10 runs scored off 12 Baltimore hits.
Ouch. SMH. Use whatever you want to react to the situation. I know I did.
There were a couple of bright spots on today’s offense. The Yankees got a total of 3 hits. Yes, 3 total hits. A Beltran single in the 1st, and then 2 solo home runs. In the bottom of the 5th, Stephen Drew smacked his 2nd home run of the Spring right over the right field wall to put the Yankees on the board. And then in the 7th, Alex Rodriguez saw a 1st pitch he liked and swung for the fences for the Yankees 2nd and final run of the game.
And that was it. Final score: 10-2 Orioles.
Injury news (hope this doesn’t become a regular part of my blog like last year): Didi Gregorius suffered a sprained left wrist on a play in the 2nd inning. He dove for a ball and landed awkwardly on his wrist. After some conversation and an initial exam, he decided to stay in, but after his next at-bat, they pulled him so as not to risk further injury. X-rays and other more serious tests all came up negative, and the diagnosis of a sprained wrist remains, giving him a few days rest. He is still on schedule for Opening Day.
Before the game today, the Yankees honored two minor leaguers for their performance during last season. Rob Refsnyder was awarded “Player of the Year” and Luis Severino “Pitcher of the Year”. Refsnyder began his 2014 season in AA Trenton, ending it with AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre; basic stats for just last year: .318 batting average, 82 runs scored, 164 hits, 38 doubles, 6 triples, 14 home runs, and 63 RBIs. Severino began last year with Charleston (Short-A), then Tampa (Single-A), and ended up with AA Trenton; his stats: 24 starts, 113.1 innings, 6 wins, 5 losses, 2.46 ERA, 1.06 WHIP, and 127 strikeouts.