The Yankees fell to the Blue Jays 1-0 in this afternoon's Split Squad Home Game. This was a must-win game for the Yankees, like every Spring Training game. Who knows if we'll make it to April.
The star of today's Spring Training game was definitely the pitching. David Phelps started the game for the Yankees and pitched very well. He went three innings, giving up two hits and one walk while striking out one batter. With Phil Hughes questionable for the beginning of the season, Phelps may be called upon to start for the Yankees. If he can pitch like he did today, against a formidable Blue Jays lineup, things may be looking up for him. Aafter Phelps left the game, Yankees reliever aand aall aaround aawesome guy David Aardsma came in to pitch for an inning. He allowed no hits, no walks, and struck out one batter. Thus far he is looking like a health aaddition to our bullpen. I promise that's my last Double A word. Chase Whitley would allow the only run of the game, a one run bomb by Andy LaRoche.
Yankee regulars Brett Gardner, Mark Teixeira, and Ichiro would provide singles while Yankee probables Ronnier Mustelier, Jose Pirela, and Juan Rivera would provide the other hits of the game, seven in total. That would be the only offense of this game. I'm sure Offensive Dragonslayer Chris Stewart would have provided some offense if he had not been thrown out of the game arguing an out at first base. Yes, you read that correctly. Umpires are already gearing up for their yearly battle with attitudes. Also, Slade Heathcott and Ronnier Mustelier collided in the OF. Thankfully no one was hurt.
In Kissimmee, one of the best names for a town ever, the Road Game Yankees put on a much more offensive performance. And I'm not just talking about Dellin Betances and Shawn Greene, which we'll discuss. Despite the offense, the Yankees again fell one run short today in a 7-6 loss to the Astros.
In his quest to avoid Triple A, Yankee prospect Zoilo Almonte notched a couple of singles this afternoon, one for an RBI. The real star of the offense was Melky Mesa. Yes, the very Melky Mesa that esteemed Pinstriped Bible scribe Tanya wrote about in today's Know Your 40. Trailing 1-0 in the Top of the 6th, Melky helped put the Yankees ahead 5-1 with a 3-run dinger. Pretty sure that was the "power tool" that she was talking about. Speaking of tools, Francisco Cervelli flashed his defensive arm today, throwing out two Astros attempting to steal second. Spring Training has only just begun and so far he has shown signs that his defense has improved. Onto the pitching.
Brett Marshall made a very impressive start today against the Astros. He went three innings, giving up no walks and one hit while striking out three. Not too shabby, Brett. The shabby was to come though. Immediately, actually. While Dellin Betances did not give up a run, or a hit for that matter, he did so in what can be described as typical Dellin fashion. That fashion was to hit a batter, walk two batters, and almost hit another batter with the bases loaded before striking him out. Watching him pitch is like watching someone push hard on a door when the sign clearly says pull. There's just no control and it's looking like there never will be no matter whether he starts or is condemned to the pen. Following that gem, Mikey O'Brien would give up a bomb to Rick Ankiel, and then another two runs the next inning. Shawn Greene would "replace" O'Brien. By replace I mean continue to give the lead right back to the Astros thanks to a grand slam hit by former Yankee Brandon Laird. The Yankees would attempt a comeback in the 8th and 9th inning, but sadly they would fall a run short.
The Yankees will face the Phillies tomorrow at 1PM.