As we get closer and closer to the regular season, these final spring training games feature quite a bit of putting the finishing touches on the work you’ve done so far. However, for players who have maybe struggled so far, they can also be about showing some better signs and getting some confidence going into the games that count. On Tuesday against the Tigers, the Yankees saw some better signs from players who haven’t had the best of springs.
Luis Severino and Josh Donaldson both had notable outings after having struggled through spring so far. Severino came into this game with an ERA over 10 for the spring. While he wasn’t flawless, he bounced back and his stuff looked pretty impressive at times. Meanwhile, Donaldson was OPSing just barely over .600 going into this game. He ended up going deep twice, leading the way in a 6-3 Yankees’ win over Detroit.
Severino’s big issue this spring has been with homers, and that issue quickly arose again in this outing. In the very first at-bat of the game, he allowed a home run to Kerry Carpenter. Two more hits would plate another run, but Severino ended up striking out three in the inning.
After the first, Severino fully bounced back to put in his best performance of the year so far. He ended up allowing two runs on four hits and a walk in four innings. Most encouraging was his stuff, which saw him finish with nine strikeouts on the day.
The Yankee offense was held in check for the first couple, but they finally got on the board in the fourth by someone who’s needed a good sign at the plate. Donaldson hasn’t had the best of springs, but he crushed a baseball for a solo homer.
Clay Holmes got some work in the fifth, and he looked good, striking out two in a quick 1-2-3 inning. Jonathan Loáisiga followed him, making his second appearance since returning from the World Baseball Classic. He too looked good, striking out the side in the sixth.
In the bottom half of the sixth, the Yankees rallied to take the lead. Rafael Ortega led off with a single, stole second, and then moved to third on a DJ LeMahieu groundout. After Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch — not in a serious way, thankfully — Gleyber Torres singled to even things up. Donaldson then went deep again, giving the Yankees the lead.
After that, Anthony Volpe continued his impressive spring with a double, and eventually came around to score after a balk and a Willie Calhoun groundout.
Wandy Peralta continued the parade of Yankees’ regulars out of the bullpen, though he ran into some trouble in the seventh. He allowed a single and a walk, but eventually worked out of it by making a nice play on the mound to kick off a double play.
The reserves fully started to come in after that. In addition to his double, Volpe also drew a walk earlier in the game. Judge went 0-for-2, LeMahieu went 0-for-3, and Torres went 1-for-3.
James Norwood came in for the eighth, and walked one in an otherwise a clean inning, but he ran into some trouble in the ninth. He allowed three hits and a walk, as Detroit scored one run. However, he eventually worked out of a bases-loaded jam to seal the win.
Next up, the Yankees will travel to Palm Beach to play the Nationals on Wednesday afternoon at 1:05pm ET. Clarke Schmidt is scheduled to get the ball against MacKenzie Gore. As a bonus tonight for the WBC Final, we’ll have a game thread for USA vs. Japan, so tune back in with us in a few hours!