Spring training games that take nearly four hours to complete are a special circle of hell. The only things saving such a miserable display of baseball from being wholly insufferable is the fact that Masahiro Tanaka once again looked brilliant on the mound and the Yankees looked really good on offense. Every starter except Jose Pirela picked up at least one hit. Tanaka allowed just two hits in 3.2 innings of work, striking out three along the way.
Today's offensive star was Didi Gregorius who went 3-3 with a triple at the plate and turned a nifty double play in the field. One of the hits was against a left-hander, hopefully signaling to the Yankees that their new shortstop isn't in desperate need of being platooned after all. Brian McCann went 2-2 with two walks and a home run. Stephen Drew also had a homer for the Yanks. New York managed to work nine walks in the game, which is actually a generous way of saying that the Braves pitchers were not so good. There's the explanation for why the game dragged on forever.
Jose Ramirez, Jacob Lindgren, Andrew Bailey, Danny Burawa, Nick Rumbelow, and James Pazos completed the parade of relievers out of the bullpen. Ramirez gave up three of Atlanta's runs, but none of them were earned. Bailey and Burawa also gave up runs, but only Burawa's was earned. That's the result of three errors in the field by Garrett Jones, Rob Refsnyder, and Jonathan Galvez. Refsnyder's error was sort of questionable, as it was one that the first baseman just couldn't pick. Not nearly as egregious as some of the throwing errors we've seen him commit in prior spring training games.
Mason Williams, who has had an amazing spring so far, nearly had himself a grand slam to hang his hat on before the ball was caught just a foot or so short of the outfield wall. He's still hitting .357 in camp so far. Chase Headley also added to his impressive spring training numbers with a hit and a walk. In all, the Yankees notched 14 hits that they turned into 12 runs. We'll take it.
The Yankees head back to Tampa for another night game against the Phillies tomorrow at 7:05 pm. Esmil Rogers gets the start. You can catch the game on YES or ESPN.