Spring Game 34: NYY vs. WAS — A couple of swings to end it on an upswing, but good pitching certainly helps

I give in. I’m calling today’s game the final Spring game because it was. Maybe I’m giving in because it was actually a pretty good, pretty tight game that made it worth actually attributing to what ended up being a decent Spring. So after yesterday’s final home game ended in a bit of disappointment (aka “a loss”) against the Nationals, it was only fitting the Yankees would travel to Nationals territory to win the final game of the season.

Nathan Eovaldi got the start and once again did a pretty good job with his outing, save the first inning. Two singles and a walk quickly loaded the bases with no outs, and a sacrifice fly got the first run in for the Nats. A single scored 2 more runs, and that would be all the Nationals would score all game. Eovaldi tampered down and found that groove. Overall, he threw 5 innings, gave up 4 hits, 3 walks, and 3 runs, but struck out 6 Washington batters.

The Yankees got their first taste of something special in the 5th inning. McCann led off with a double, and 2 outs later, scored on Stephen Drew’s monster 2-run home run. The Yankees were on the board, behind the Nats 3-2.

Martin came on in relief for the 6th and kept Eovaldi’s found momentum going, getting 2 strikeouts of his own. Wilson took 2 outs in the 7th, and David Carpenter got that final out in the 7th and on the mound when the Yankees would finally grab the lead (and thus be on point for the win).

It would be the 8th inning that would make the difference for the Yankees in this game. With 1 out, Gregorius doubled, and then his pinch-runner Noonan scored on Chris Young’s 2-run home run. That put the Yanks up 4-3 over the Nats. So it was back to the bullpen to keep it that way. And they did — Miller and Betances each took an inning and found their way to keeping the Nationals away from anything resembling a run scored.

Final score: 4-3 Yankees

And that would be it for Spring Training 2015. 17 wins, 16 losses, and 1 tie — so an overall successful Spring, with some truly outstanding plays, players, and memories.

Here are some of mine…
    • Favorite amusing moment: Brett Gardner jumping the centerfield fence to retrieve Young’s glove and then scaling it back again
    • Favorite farm system player: Ramon Flores — because he’s literally amazing
    • Favorite game overall: the game where the Yankees were down and then (who else?) Flores hit that bottom of the 9th, 3-run game-winning home run
    • Favorite stadium oddity: the 5-person Tigers fan, when 5 people wore a single shirt that spelled out Tigers and paraded around the stadium concourse to boos and cheers from the fans in the seats
    • Favorite ballpark treat: (especially on those super hot days) “water-flavored” sno-cones, which is literally a sno-cone with no flavoring, so basically just ice, really cold ice
    • Favorite Spring Training Tweet:
So here’s to a great 2015, healing to those on the mend (Nova, Capuano, Pirela, and Ryan), continued health to everyone else, and all the hope for that 28th Championship come this October.
Go Yankees!
(Happy Passover and Happy Easter to all those who celebrate. A happy off-day to those who don’t, I guess.)

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