The New York Yankees got their sixth victory of the spring training on Thursday, as they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 6-1, behind excellent pitching performances from ace Gerrit Cole, and reliever Jonathan Loáisiga.
Cole, who had only pitched once this spring prior to Thursday afternoon, was dominant for three innings, in which he allowed only three hits and one run. He didn’t concede any walks and struck out five hitters against a solid Phillies lineup that included nearly all of their starters, most notably Bryce Harper, Alec Bohm, Didi Gregorius, Andrew McCutchen, and Rhys Hoskins.
5 Ks for Cole pic.twitter.com/mvMNLimb1N— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 11, 2021
Loáisiga relieved Cole and stayed on the mound for three frames as well, and he was perfect: no hits, walks, or runs, and one strikeout. These are the kind of outings he needs to slowly push his name up in the bullpen depth chart once the season starts.
Per Lindsey Adler of The Athletic, Cole threw a total of 50 pitches, generating an outstanding 10 swings and misses. He sat in the high-90s, and of the seven balls in play he allowed, only one was well-struck. That’ll do.
Aaron Nola was saddled with the loss but didn’t pitch badly at all. In four frames, he let in a couple of runs on four hits and a base on balls, whiffing three Yankees in the process. The Phillies’ No. 1 starter surrendered a leadoff home run to Aaron Hicks, who impressively got to a fastball up and away to leave the yard to the opposite field.
Leadoff longball for @AaronHicks31 pic.twitter.com/qdSRvB3yFR— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 11, 2021
The Yankees went up 2-0 in the top of the third on a Luke Voit single that scored Andrew Velázquez, but the Phillies cut the lead in half on the bottom of the inning thanks to an RBI single by old friend Andrew McCutchen.
In the fifth inning, Hicks was at it again with a double that brought Velázquez home with the Yankees’ third run of the afternoon. The Bombers broke the game open with three additional runs in the top of the eighth, courtesy of Chris Gittens, prospect Oswald Peraza, and Velázquez, as all three contributed RBI singles.
Peraza, by the way, almost hits a grand slam in the top of the ninth, but he came up just short of the feat as the left field stole the would-be home run with a leaping catch. The slick-fielding shortstop has been impressive in camp and has earned rave reviews from the coaching staff.
Jhoulys Chacín and Lucas Luetge finished off the superb afternoon of pitching by combining to pitch the last three innings, during which they gave up one measly hit while fanning four batters (two apiece). Luetge pushed his spring training strikeout total to 10 in just 4 innings as he tries to claim a roster spot.
Luke Voit, who was the designated hitter today after experiencing some knee soreness in the last couple of days, was thrown out at third base trying to advance on a Clint Frazier’s fly out to left field, an unnecessary decision to say the least. He seemed to be shaken up and talked to the trainer in the dugout, so that’s definitely something to keep an eye on in the next few hours.
The 6-4 Yankees will now face the Detroit Tigers on Friday, starting at 1:05 p.m. ET. Newcomer Jameson Taillon, who has also impressed in spring training action, will go against veteran right-hander Julio Teherán.