Orioles 5, Yankees 1: Gardner's Three Hits Are Lone Real Highlight

"You're welcome." - Matt Diaz - Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

A mostly-forgettable affair. Matt Diaz was lame.

The New York Yankees lost their second game of the Spring today, falling to the Baltimore Orioles, 5-1. Before getting too "doom and gloom" though, remember that this iteration of the Yankees only had two players likely expected to be everyday starters--Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli. The rest of the lineup was populated by the likes of Jayson Nix, Matt Diaz, Juan Rivera, Melky Mesa, Dan Johnson, Gil Velazquez, and Kyle Roller with Vidal Nuno starting on the mound. It was not exactly Murderer's Row out there. On to a few notes and GIFs.

  • Gardner was the only outstanding performer of the day, as he was perfect in three at-bats. He led off the game by beating out a grounder to the left of Chris Davis at first base, then dragged a bunt up the third base line for a hit, and ended with a clean single to center field in front of Adam Jones. Although he made some fans (myself included) uneasy with a headfirst slide into first base in his first appearance, it was a flawless day for the speedy centerfielder.
  • Nix also had a good day behind him, notching a pair of hits in three at-bats. Outside of Gardner and Nix however, it was grim. The rest of the lineup was 3-for-28 with two walks. Leading the poor parade were Diaz, Rivera, and Cervelli, the "3-4-5" hitters (lolwut), who each went 0-for-3. Also hitless in multiple at-bats were Mesa, Johnson, and Roller. The three other hits were notched by Velazquez, Walter Ibarra, and Greg Bird.
  • Ibarra's hit brought home the only run of the day, and that rally did not start until there were two outs in the ninth inning. Corban Joseph walked, stole second on a reportedly botched call, and scored on the seven-year MiLB-vet's single to left.
  • In addition to stranding a team-high six runners on base, Diaz brought the pain with the worst moment of the day. The game started off well as Gardner and Nix singled against Orioles starter Brian Matusz. Diaz had a chance to drive in some early runs and make an impression on management, but instead he chased a 1-1 pitch near the dirt and grounded into an easy double play. Womp. Yes, Davis kept his foot on the bag despite the terrible throw from second baseman Brian Roberts.
  • Nuno displayed strong control early on, even as he gave up Baltimore's first run. He struck out five in his two innings of work, all on called strike threes. He's not really going anywhere special after Spring, but it's good to know that there a minor leaguer without control problems in Double-A (or Triple-A).
  • On the completely opposite side of the spectrum, it was a horrid day for 2012 fourth-round pick Corey Black, who had absolutely no control out of the 'pen in the fourth inning. He threw far more balls than strikes and walked two, then surrendered a booming two-run double to Nate McLouth.
  • The only perfect inning of the day from a Yankee pitcher came from Aussie lefty Josh Spence, who sent down Trayvon Robinson, Travis Ishikawa, and Russ Canzler in order (only Ishikawa was a lefty).
  • Top prospects Slade Heathcott and Tyler Austin both made brief appearances, and they were also both retired. Heathcott was narrowly thrown out on a routine grounder to shortstop, and Austin struck out on three pitches against Zach Clark.
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