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Yankees 5, Braves 1: Giancarlo Stanton destroyed a baseball

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The Yankees are going to try to follow this formula all season long.

MLB: Spring Training-New York Yankees at Atlanta Braves Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

That’s all, folks. Spring training is in the books. The Yankees closed out the preseason with a 5 - 1 victory over the Braves. This final tune up saw the team running out their preferred game strategy. The Bombers combined power hitting with precision pitching en route to their win. Now they get to carry the momentum over into Opening Day.

The Yankees struck early in this one, tagging old friend Brandon McCarthy for two runs in the first inning. Giancarlo Stanton worked a two-out walk which brought Didi Gregorius to the plate. Gregorius than crushed a 1 - 0 sinker into the right field seats. He just reached out and pulled the pitch.

Credit: Baseball Savant

This inning showed off the strength of the Yankees’ lineup. It’s relentless. If a pitcher can somehow navigate his way through Aaron Judge and Stanton, his reward is the shockingly powerful Gregorius. Or Gary Sanchez, whose impressive credentials need no further repeating. There’s no easy out with the Bombers.

Speaking of Stanton, he also took McCarthy deep. His two-run shot came after Judge drew a walk. He teed off on a hanging curveball, sending it deep to left field. Let me tell you, it was a glorious sight. It’s hard to not get excited about Stanton and Judge batting together during the regular season. It will be a sight to behold.

The other run came in the eighth inning. Trey Amburgey reached first base on an error and then advanced to second on a wild pitch. He came home to score on a Shane Robinson double, making it a 5 - 1 game. Even the substitutions had fun in this one.

On the pitching side, Sonny Gray had a brilliant game. He tossed five innings of one-run ball, but that doesn’t give you the full picture. He spent the night painting the black, with all of his pitches working. Most importantly, however, he showed no fear on the mound. Gray challenged the batters, registering seven strikeouts.

Credit: Baseball Savant

He mixed a steady diet of curveballs with his two-seamer. He did a great job keeping batters off balance. It seems like Gray has been overlooked by fans in recent months. Tonight he showed why that shouldn’t be the case, though. He’s capable of pitching towards the front of the rotation. Having him in the mix for a full season will be a real weapon.

After Gray, the Yankees ran out some of the top arms in their bullpen. Dellin Betances struck out the side in the sixth, while David Robertson worked a clean seventh on just nine pitches. Jonathan Holder came on in the eighth and tossed an uneventful inning. Ben Heller tried to close things out in the ninth, but he had a difficult time finding the zone. Aaron Boone called on Aroldis Chapman to put it away. He did just that.

The next time the Yankees play, it will be the regular season. We will have special Opening Day coverage on Thursday as the Bombers take on the Blue Jays. First pitch is scheduled for 3:37 PM. It will be Luis Severino