The Yankees traveled down the coast to “Fenway South” for the first rivalry game of the season. The Yankees won’t host the Red Sox until the end of the Spring, so this was a nice taste of the long-term AL East rivals for the season.
Prospect pitcher Chance Adams started the big game this afternoon and had a pretty great start for his 2 innings. Another prospect pitcher, Justus Sheffield, came on in relief for his 2 innings and got into a spot of trouble in the 4th inning. After 2 outs, Sheffield gave up a double that scored on a long single to get the Red Sox on the board.
Reliever Brady Lail came on for a scoreless 5th inning, but then struggled in the 6th giving up 2 singles to put runners on the corners. After an out, 2 more singles scored both runners. So Lail handed the ball to Trevor Lane to wrap up the inning. In the 7th, Cody Carroll kept Lane’s scoreless momentum going before handing things over to Jonathan Holder‘s final 2 scoreless innings.
Meanwhile, the Yankees took their time and found their offensive openings when they could. In the 3rd, Aaron Hicks smacked a solid 1-out solo home run to get the Yankees on their board. They found footing again in the 6th as Torres doubled and moved to 2nd on a balk before scoring on Austin Romine’s 2-out single.
Down by a run in the 8th, the Yankees found one more opportunity to advance. Espinosa led-off with a walk, and Holder double to move both into scoring position. Minor leaguer Jeff Hendrix smacked a 1-out double to score both runners. After a pitching change and another out, Miguel Andujar hit one more run (Hendrix) in with his single to cap off the scoring.
Final score: 5-3 Yankees
Next up: the Yankees host the Rays before a dual hometown crowd tomorrow afternoon. Chad Green is set to face off with former Yankee Eovaldi.
It is worth noting that the Yankees are currently 8-1 on the standings, top of the league just like they finished last Spring Training. However, I took a brief look back at the 2017 Spring standings, finding where the teams that faced off in the 2017 World Series ended up. The Astros finished 15-15, the Dodgers 18-17 — both clearly middle of the pack in both leagues. But both by October the Astros won 101 games, the Dodgers 104, easily the top of their divisions (the Dodgers at the top of all of MLB). In other words, Spring tells you a grand total of nothing.
But as I’ve said before, while your team is leading in the standings (even the ones that don’t really matter), you take what you can get. And as of today, the Yankees are the best team in all of MLB. So I’ll take it.