New York Yankees: 3 major takeaways from Saturday’s win over the Pirates

New York Yankees, Corey Kluber
Feb 21, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Corey Kluber (28) throws a pitch at Yankees player development complex. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday the New York Yankees were at home at George M. Steinbrenner Field in St. Petersburg playing against the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Yankees won the game 7-5. DJ LeManieu, Ryan LaMarre, and Socrates Brito all had home runs in the game. But the star of the game was starter Corey Kluber; he hurled four innings in Saturday’s Grapefruit League game against Pittsburgh, allowing two runs on four hits and no walks while striking out two.

Kluber wasn’t quite as effective as in his spring debut when he pitched two perfect innings against Toronto. However, he got his pitch count up to 54 — the most by any Yankee pitcher this spring. He had these encouraging words about the New York Yankee lineup:

“The New York Yankees’ Major League lineup is deep one through nine, but that’s a different level lineup we ran out there today, and will run out on a regular basis,” Kluber said during the Yankees’ 7-5 Grapefruit League victory over the Pirates on Saturday. “You don’t really have a chance to breathe as a pitcher pitching against them. You can’t take a pitch off. You can’t let your guard down.”

DJ LeMahieu is DJ LeMahieu:

During the offseason, the New York Yankees’ priority was to re-sign DJ LeMahieu, and they finally made that a reality when they signed him to a six-year deal that will probably see him retire as a Yankee. 2,800 Yankees fans got to see why that was so important in yesterday’s win over the Pirates.

DJ, along along with Ryan LaMarre, powered the Yankees to the win. LeMahieu had a three-run homer in the game. Socrates Brito also homered in the game. The “Machine” also singled in the game. Lemahieu continues to be the catalyst to get the Yankee players hitting.

Aroldis Chapman’s new splitter:

New York Yankee closer Aroldis Chapman came out in the fifth to get some work in. Stokes struck out, Frazier lined out, and Hayes ground out as Chapman mixed his pitches for a 1-2-3 inning. During his time on the mound, manager, Aaron Boone was being interviewed by the YES Network. Boone on Saturday in the fifth inning. When Chapman struck out the Pirates’ right fielder Troy Stokes Jr. swinging on an 0-2 splitter, Boone chuckled in disbelief. “Wow,” he said. “That’s gross.”

Chapman, who usually pitches with a 100 plus mph fastball, over the offseason, has incorporated a splitter into his pitching arsenal, and it is nasty.

“It’s been great,” Boone said in a Zoom call after the Yankees closed out a 7-5 win. “Even going back to last year, we felt like it was real and something that he could certainly incorporate.”