Apparently, the Yankees do well in new stadiums. They’re excelling in their newly renovated Spring home, going strong around the league, though not as strong as at home. And now, they’re victorious for their away games in the new stadium in Palm Beach. Yesterday against the Astros, now today against the Nationals.
Michael Pineda got the start today and had a bit of a struggle in his 2nd inning, the only inning the Nationals had much of a chance today. Pineda gave up 2 consecutive walks to kick off the 2nd inning. A single scored the Nats’ first run. Two outs later, Pineda was pulled for JR Graham, who had his own issues. A double scored 2 more runs (charged to Pineda), and a single put runners on the corners. So when a walk loaded the bases, the Yankees got out of it with a routine ground out.
Actually, it would be reliever Chad Green who would should the bulk of the work today on the mound, beginning in the 3rd and throwing into the 7th. Green would only give up 2 hits and walk over that time, before Heller closed out the 7th with a bit of drama, coming up unscathed. But it was back to drama-free under Jonathan Holder, who breezed his way through the final 2 innings.
While the Yankee pitchers weren’t exactly on-point today, getting only 3 strikeouts and giving up 7 hits and 5 walks, the Nationals certainly had a worse day. The Yankee offense knocked 15 hits off Nats pitchers.
In the 2nd, the Yankees kicked things off with a couple of walks by Headley and Judge. Then Headley scored on Rob Refsnyder’s double, and Judge scored on Ronald Torreyes’ single. And finally Brett Gardner’s single scored Refsnyder and Torreyes to give the Yankees a healthy lead they’d never surrender.
They got some insurance in the 5th. Bird led-off with a double and then scored as part of Matt Holliday’s big 2-run home run, his 3rd of the Spring. And in the top of the 8th, they ensured their win. Consecutive singles by McKinney, Romine, and Tejada loaded the bases. Gleyber Torres’ double scored 2 of them, and Dustin Fowler’s sacrifice fly scored the third.
Final score: 9-3 Yankees
In World Baseball Classic news: Netherlands superstar and Yankees infielder Didi Gregorious was sent back to Tampa today due to “a hematoma of the subscapularis muscle”, or a really deep shoulder bruise on his throwing arm. The Yankees’ medical staff did an MRI today to confirm the diagnosis. He will miss the rest of the WBC and could be out through the Spring, with the possibility of missing the beginning of the season.
Which is a shame because Gregorius has been rocking it in the WBC. His contributions are a key reason why the Netherlands are even in the semi-finals. And tonight, they face the virtually unstoppable team from Puerto Rico (at 9 pm EST). It’s winding down, and just 3 games until a world champion is crowned. And it’s going to be good 3 games.