The Yankees played their first night game of the spring on Friday, but the exhibition against the Orioles wasn’t televised. That’s unfortunate because it featured a fun little rally in the ninth inning. James Paxton started and pitched well, but he allowed a home run to lead off the third inning. That put the Bombers behind, and it took them until the bottom of the ninth to respond. The Yankees and Orioles ended the game in a tie at 2-2.
You can find the full box score here, but let’s talk about three key points:
1. The Yankees reinforced the Bullpen of Doom™ this offseason by signing Zack Britton and Adam Ottavino. They add to an endgame scenario that also features Aroldis Chapman and Dellin Betances. Don’t forget about Chad Green, though. The right-hander faced four batters on Friday night, and he struck out three of them. Bryan Hoch reports that Green threw 15 pitches — 13 registered as strikes. Realistically speaking, Green could close on a number of teams. The Yankees have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to the relief corps.
2. Gary Sanchez made his Grapefruit League debut, going 0-for-2 in the process. Sanchez struck out in his first at-bat, then laced a ball to center field in his second. Of course a diving catch in center field robbed him of a hit. Tough luck. The good news here, however, remains that Sanchez is healthy and playing.
3. DJ LeMahieu got the start at third base, and while he had an unremarkable night at the plate, he flashed some leather.
DJ LeMahieu with a slick play at third base, charging a slow roller ... fields, fires, got him.— Bryan Hoch (@BryanHoch) March 2, 2019
I questioned the logic behind signing a career second baseman to play a utility role, but maybe LeMahieu’s athletic enough to handle the job. I’ll need to see more than one good play — heck, I didn’t even see this one — but it’s encouraging nonetheless.
Highlight of the game
This is where you can imagine Clint Frazier, Matt Lipka, and Rashad Crawford combining for the ninth inning rally. Televised baseball can’t come soon enough.
Soon, however, is not tomorrow. The Yankee will take on the Pirates at 1:05 PM, but WFAN has the call. Luis Cessa and Jordan Lyles make the pitching matchup.