Rain threatened this game early, but ultimately held off long enough for the Yankees to come up a bit short against the Nationals Monday afternoon. The Yankees got out to an early 3-0 lead on the Nationals, thanks to a Rob Refsnyder double driven home by Brett Gardner and a two-run home run by Brian McCann. Washington would rally to take the lead with four runs of their own in the fourth inning off Bryan Mitchell and Chasen Shreve, but Chris Young had other plans. New York's presumed fourth outfielder homered off Doug Fister to tie the game, and he homered again in the sixth inning to put the Yankees on top. A three-run bottom of the seventh for the Nats proved to be the difference in the game.
If today was Mitchell's last chance to prove himself worthy of the fifth starter spot it probably wasn't enough to get him the job over the likes of Adam Warren. The right-hander surrendered three walks and four hits in 3.1 innings of work, in addition to being charged with two runs to raise his spring ERA to 7.36. Jacob Lindgren was the lone Yankees pitcher to hold the Nationals scoreless in the game. He hasn't given up a run yet this spring. Kyle Davies pitched two innings and gave up the lead with three runs. He wasn't helped by some shaky defense, but he didn't help himself much either.
Aside from the homers by McCann and Young, Refsnyder and John Ryan Murphy picked up two hits a piece. Refsnyder has been hot with the bat this spring, and it's certainly a good sign that he can hit against strong big league pitchers like Doug Fister. Murphy has been battling for the backup catcher spot with little to show for it at the plate so far. Even though it seems like the Yankees are showcasing his competition for a trade, a couple hits to get him going are certainly welcome. Aaron Judge picked up the only other hit in the game.
The Yankees will head back to Tampa to take on the Tigers at Steinbrenner Field tomorrow evening at 7:05 pm. To prove how much the Yankees care about our entertainment, Esmil Rogers gets the start while Nathan Eovaldi starts in minor league camp. Enjoy that.