Spring training games are mainly about more about getting your players ready for the season than worrying about wins or losses, but the Yankees can be particularly pleased on both fronts today.
Sending out a lineup that featured seven likely members of the Opening Day lineup and a likely member of the rotation, the Yankees jumped out to an early lead on the Phillies and never looked back. They received good contributions and performances from several of those expected regulars, and cruised to a 5-2 win over Philadelphia.
The big thing to watch coming into this game for the Yankees was Jameson Taillon, who got the start for his first appearance of spring training, also his first after offseason ankle surgery. Taillon looked pretty good against a decently strong Phillies lineup in two innings of work. He allowed a single to J.T. Realmuto in the second inning, but retired the other six batters he faced. He’s said he expects to be good to go for the regular season, and nothing happened today to dispute that.
First K of the season for Jamo pic.twitter.com/3JQAFEai4c— New York Yankees (@Yankees) March 21, 2022
As for the offense, a strong Yankees lineup got off to a quick start against the Phillies’ Hans Crouse. On the very first pitch of the game, DJ LeMahieu laced a double to right field. A couple batters later, with Joey Gallo also on via walk, Giancarlo Stanton added another double, scoring both runners.
Aaron Hicks added another run with an RBI double, albeit one that was aided by a Phillies’ defensive miscue.
Following Taillon on the mound for the Yankees would be Nestor Cortes Jr. He looked to be fine shape as well, throwing two clean innings with two strikeouts, including this one of Bryce Harper:
Bryce Harper had no chance against Nestor's cutter pic.twitter.com/WUG3Elwls8— Lucas (@DBITLefty) March 21, 2022
In the bottom of the fourth, the Yankees tacked on another run. With Kyle Higashioka on base after a single, first baseman Phillip Evans doubled him home to add to the Yankees’ lead.
The starters mostly exited after that inning, but that didn’t keep the Yankees from adding onto their lead. With two runners on base via walks, one scored after an error on a grounder hit by Evans. That would be one of three miscues the Phillies committed on the day, in a less-than-sharp performance from them.
The pitching then turned to Michael King for two innings, and he continued the run of pretty decent outings from expected MLB arms. He added another two scoreless frames, allowing one walk and a hit before exiting the game.
In the seventh, the Phillies managed to dent home plate against non-roster invite Reggie McClain, who spent 2021 at Triple-A Scranton. They picked up two runs off him thanks to three hits, a walk, and an error by second baseman Eduardo Torrealba.
Notable prospects who got time in today’s game included Oswald Peraza, Trey Sweeney, and Everson Pereira, none of whom reached base. Meanwhile, Miguel Andújar, arguably the most forgotten about Yankee, picked up a hit after coming in for the later innings. Recent Arizona Fall League prospect Andres Chaparro notched one as well, a 111-mph missile of a double. After McClain, Greg Weissert threw the final two innings without much incident, sealing the win.
Tomorrow, the Yankees are headed to Dunedin, the Blue Jays’ spring training home, to take on Toronto. While the YES Network will not be airing the game, the Jays’ broadcasters are set to do so, so we will get a chance to check out tomorrow’s action.