Yankees: Good news and bad news following win over Phillies

New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole

The modern-day New York Yankees are known for their slugging ability, but in their victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday afternoon, small ball lead them to a positive result.

While centerfielder Aaron Hicks started off the game with a home run to left field, the Yankees settled in and began hitting for contact. A total of 14 hits resulted in six runs, with the Phillies scoring just one and recording four hits on the afternoon. The Yankees looked good all around, ranging from their hitting to their pitching, with ace Gerrit Cole taking the mound for his second appearance of spring training.

Good news and bad news for the New York Yankees:

Cole bounced back from a tumultuous performance in his first appearance this spring, allowing three hits and one earned run over 3.0 innings. Cole always seems to have minor hiccups during the off-season and then completely revitalizes his game once the regular campaign begins. He did strike out five batters in the process, bringing his ERA down to 4.50 after allowing three hits and one run in just one inning of work a few days ago.

However, relief arm Jonathan Loaisiga stole the show once again, going three innings and completely dominating the Phillies’ batting order. With Zack Britton requiring surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, the Yankees needed somebody to step up and fill his role, and it seems Loaisiga is up to the task.

Offensively, Hicks featured as the lead-off hitter in this contest, giving DJ LeMahieu the day off, recording two hits and two RBIs over three at-bats. Two other batters recorded two or more hits, including Chris Gittens and Andrew Velasquez.

One pitcher who has shined as of late is Lucas Luetge, who is turning 34 later this month. The last time he pitched in the big leagues was five years ago, tossing 41 innings.

The Yankees clearly saw hidden potential and offered him a minor league contract for the spring. Over 11 batters faced, he’s struck out eight, including 17 misses on 26 swings. If Luetge continues performing like this, the Yankees could find themselves stumbling across a gem in the bullpen.

There wasn’t much bad news in the win, aside from reserve catcher Kyle Higashioka striking out twice and Ryan LaMarre displaying the same. The Yankees are once again dealing with a few injuries, mostly in the pitching category. Britton is expected to be out at least six weeks, and Clarke Schmidt is also rehabilitating. Hopefully, they can remain healthy for the remainder of the spring, with Opening Day just around the corner on April 1.

New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from the Yankee’s win over the Phillies and today’s preview

New York Yankees, Aaron Hicks

The New York Yankees. traveled to Clearwater, Florida yesterday and put on a show of how the game of baseball should be played. They used a mix of the long ball and small ball over nine innings to display the game elements that win games. Mix that with good pitching, and you will win most games. The Yankees won the game 6-1, and they did it with their “B” lineup.

Gerrit Cole:

Gerrit Cole bounced back from his one inning struggle in his first start of the season. In his first start, he struggled to throw 27 pitches in one inning and giving up a run. A subject at least at the beginning of the season is who is catching Cole. Last season he had a personal catcher in Kyle Higashioka. Manager Aaron Boone said before spring training started that that would not be the case this season. But that conversation is not going to go away. In his first game, Gary Sanchez caught the ace, and as I said, it was obvious with so many pitches that he struggled.

In yesterday’s game, he was caught by Kyle Higashioka, who was his personal catcher during 2020. Last year demonstrated the difference in his ERA when caught by Sanchez vs. Higashioka. 3.91 with Sanchez and 1.10 with Higashioka. Yesterday seemed to demonstrate that same difference. Pitching to Higashioka, he lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 4.50, pitching 3 innings.

Jonathan Loaisiga:

Encouraging news for the New York Yankees arising out of yesterday’s game was that Jonathan Loaisiga was again nearly perfect in his second outing. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Gerrit Cole. He pitched four innings of scoreless ball over both of his games while striking out eight opponents while allowing no walks.

This kind of performance from Loaisiga has to be encouraging for the Yankees as they will be missing Zack Britton for at least two or three weeks of the regular season while he recovers from elbow surgery to remove some bone chips from his elbow. Luis Cessa, the Yankee’s main mid-reliever, has struggled so far in spring training. The New York Yankees will need Loaisiga to continue his excellent pitching displays.

Get singles and steal bases:

The New York Yankees proved yesterday that they could win when not using their “A” lineup. The Yankees used a combination of a homer from Aaron Hicks and a lot of small ball to propel them to a win. Five of the six runs they scored in the game were via the small ball. The Yankees used a mix of singles, doubles, and base stealing to overcome the Phillies. The lineup yesterday did not include two power hitters that are Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.

Aaron Hicks set the game’s tone, homering in the first inning, but it was the Yankee’s 14 hits in the game that won it for them. Andrew Velazquez, Oswald Peraza, and Chris Gittens shone in the game. It also helped that the Yankees played errorless ball. With the possibility of a Grand Slam from the Phillies, the Yankee’s Matt Vierling robbed the Phillies with a jumping catch at the wall.

Today the New York Yankees will take on the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. The Yankee’s Jameson Taillon will take on the Tiger’s Julio Teheran. This will be Taillon’s second start in three games. So far, he has only given up two hits, one walk, and no earned runs while striking out five opponents across three innings.