The Yankees closed out spring training at Steinbrenner Field with a loss to the Nationals, heading north to Washington D.C. this evening to close out exhibition play tomorrow afternoon. CC Sabathia made his final start of the spring, giving up three runs in 5.1 innings of work. He also walked three batters. The Nationals roughed up Sabathia in the first inning before he settled in. Andrew Bailey was charged with three runs after getting only two outs. The bulk of those runs came when Nick Goody allowed Bailey's inherited runners to score on a three-run shot by Mike Carp.
Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley each doubled against Stephen Strasburg, which is a promising sign for the offense. Headley went 2-2 to raise his spring average to .321. Ben Gamel, Brian McCann, and Chris Young also picked up hits in the game. Although he was sent down to minor league camp yesterday, Rob Refsnyder gave the team one last reminder of how hot his bat has been this spring with a double in the ninth inning. It was his sixth double in Grapefruit League play. No one has disputed that defense is really the only thing keeping Refsnyder away from the majors at this point, but hopefully his hot hitting continues as the minor league season gets underway in just under a week.
The defense managed to shine today with Didi Gregorius and Gregorio Petit showing off their glove work on a couple of nifty plays. They very nearly turned a beautiful double play on Yunel Escobar, but the fact that it was even close is a testament to them. John Ryan Murphy, still battling for the backup catcher spot, threw out Escobar trying to steal second base with relative ease.
Spring training will officially come to a close tomorrow after the Yankees take on the Nationals at Nationals Park in the nation's capital at 1:05 pm. Everyone making the big league team knows they've made it, with the exception of Murphy and Austin Romine. The Yankees could still swing a trade for one of them in the next day or so, especially if they choose to use Murphy as the backup with Romine being out of options. Guess we'll see.