Today was a rather nice day for a ball game. Sunny and not as hot as Friday, with a slight and consistent breeze kept fans happy, but didn’t hamper any balls from leaving the park once again.
The Yankees hosted the visiting Blue Jays for a lovely Sunday game, helmed by starting contender Luis Severino, who did a pretty good job in his two innings to kick things off for the Yankees. Actually, the entire pitching staff today did a pretty good job of keeping the Blue Jays from doing much damage, only giving up 3 total hits. The strike zone was a bit hard to find (giving up 5 walks), but when they did it was stellar (10 total strike outs).
Meanwhile, the Yankees’ offense went into full command beginning in the 2nd inning. Matt Holliday started the inning with a solid single, moving to 2nd on Carter’s walk before they both scored as part of Starlin Castro’s big 3-run home run straight to the fans sitting at the left field fence. After a messy throwing error to lead-off the 3rd inning, Ellsbury (in his Spring debut today) ended up in scoring position and then scored later on Holliday’s ground out. Hicks led-off the 5th with a double and then scored easily on Brett Gardner’s single in the 5th.
The lone time the Blue Jays were able to poke holes in the Yankee pitching was in the 6th inning, with all the replacement guys filling the field. Lail gave up a lead-off walk before one of the only Jays’ veterans on today’s traveling roster hit a big 1-out, 2-run homer. The Yankees came back in the 7th to take those 2 runs back. With 1 out, Tejada was hit by a pitch and jogged in a run as part of Billy McKinney’s 2-run home run over the right field fence.
Final score: 7-2 Yankees.
Watching the game today, there were a few nominees for the Player of the Game. But I chose a pitcher today — JP Feyereisen, who threw two scoreless innings. He gave up 1 hit, a single that slipped up the middle, in the 7th, and an inside pitch in the gave a big bruise to that Jays’ batter. In those 6 outs, 3 of them were strikeouts. Originally signed 3 years ago by the Indians, he was part of the trade with Andrew Miller in the middle of last year, only pitching in 3 game with AA Trenton last year (and will probably start the year there). He is a non-roster invitee to Spring Training, but his style and strength (he throws really hard) kept cool under pressure — not letting a single or (perhaps more importantly) a hit-by-pitch throw his concentration.
Also, worth noting: Gary Sanchez is getting back into the groove again behind the plate, catching two different runners trying to steal 2nd base in the 3rd inning for the 1st and 3rd outs in that inning. Sanchez is continuing the consistency we came to expect from him after last year, both offensively and defensively. That, to me, is a great sign for this season in general.