While the 8-2 loss to the Dominican Republic today was not chock full of great moments, but Hiroki Kuroda sure helps.
Yankee Highlight of the Game
Kuroda was terrific against a very good Dominican lineup that included great hitters like Robinson Cano, Edwin Encarnacion, and Hanley Ramirez (to name a few). He threw three scoreless, walking none and allowing just to hits while striking out four. All four Ks are displayed in this GIF--Jose Reyes, Erick Aybar, Carlos Santana, and Aybar again. Considering the depleted offense the New York Yankees will likely be giving him come Opening Day, they will need Kuroda to pitch like he did today quite often.
Yankee Lowlight of the Game
Oh there were plenty candidates for "Lowlight of the Game" today, but none were quite as embarrassing as the above GIF (it moves twice as fast as a normal GIF, but it was necessary to get the whole clip to fit). The Yankees were actually no-hit by the D.R. until Zoilo Almonte's two-run homer in the seventh, and any of the clips that showed them falling behind 6-0 would have fit well. Instead, let's go to this disastrous play in the eighth, which should help demonstrate why Dan Johnson should absolutely not be considered a candidate to play third base in any meaningful game. The Yanks are trying him as a utilityman to see if he can make the roster via versatility, but he has looked horrible at the hot corner thus far. Here, he fires his second error of the game on a grounder hit by Moises Sierra, and it was such a poor throw that dinosaur Miguel Tejada somehow scored from first base. Credit goes to the old shortstop for hustling so much, but Johnson's throw and first baseman Luke Murton's whiff on the carom enabled it.
Random GIF(s) of the Game: Outfield Competition Update
Oh right, the Yankees are trying to decide who should be their third outfielder in the Opening Day lineup as well thanks to the Curtis Granderson injury. Such is life these days. Two candidates are Matt Diaz and Juan Rivera, both righthanded-hitting outfielders known primarily for their skills with the bat (however existent these skills are is unquestionably up for debate). But hey, if one of them can avoid being an Ibanez in the outfield, it would certainly help his bid. What say you, Mr. Diaz?
That's a nice diving catch! It's also at the 1:00 mark in the linked Kuroda clip if you want a better look--the net is kind of in the way. Either way, it was good to see, even if we were scared of a wrist injury at first. Rivera was playing right field today, how did he do?
Oh. That was catchable; maybe more difficult for Rivera since he's not as young or as fast as he used to be, but it does not bode well.