New York Yankees: Can J.A. Happ have a successful 2020? So far, so good

New York Yankees, J.A. Happ

The New York Yankees met last night with the Philadelphia Phillies for game twelve of the spring training schedule. The game was played at George Steinbrenner Field in Tampa, which is just a short 20-minute drive across the causeway from Spectrum Field home of the Phillies.  The Phillies manager is Joe Girardi, the former Yankee manager.  Yankee players will also meet up with Didi Gregorius and Ronald Torreyes, both former Yankee Players. Didi was not on the lineup last night, but “Toe” was the starting shortstop.  In this away game, the Phillies started RHP Nick Pivetta ERA 8.31, and the Yankees began J.A. Happ in his third start of the season.

As Happ took the mound at 6:35 pm, the twilight skies were sunny as the sun sunk to the west.  The game-time temperature was a pleasant 77 degrees.  The first batter Happ faced was Adam Hasley, who struck out, Forsythe singled to center, Hoskins walked, Bruce flew out to Tyler Wade for two out and two on, Harrison ended the inning by lining out to Brett Gardner, and Happ got out of trouble.  At the bottom, Pivetta faced Yankee leadoff man DJ LeMahieu “The Machine” singled. Brett Gardner reached on a fielder’s choice, one down, Gleyber Torres at the plate, Gardner advanced to second on a wild pitch, Torres singled, and Gardner scored for the early Yankees 1-0 lead. Voit singled, and Torres went to second. Mike Ford singles on a Phillie error, driving in Torres for the Yankees 2-0 lead.  Iannetta, who was hitting .556, still with one out singled driving in Voit for the Yankees 3-0 lead.  Tyler Wade lined out.  Zack Granite made the final out, but the Yankees scored three in the first inning.

In the second, Garlick struck out swinging with Happ still pitching.  Martini struck out, Bethancourt gave Happ the strikeout of the side.  Happ has been extremely impressive all three of his starts.  Privetta out for the second, Holder ground out, LeMahieu flew out,  Gardner walked, and Torres ground out to end the inning.  At the third former Yankee Ronald Torreyes singled off Happ.  Haseley struck out, Forsythe hits into a double play.  In the Yankees bottom, Voit struck out; Ford ground out, Iannetta struck out as the score remained Yankee 3 Phillies 0.

On to the fourth with Hoskins faced Happ for a fourth inning, he struck out, and Bruce flew out. Harrison ground out for the final out.  At the bottom, Wade struck out, and Granite walked chasing Privetta. The new pitcher was Addison Russ facing Holder. Granite caught stealing.  Holder struck out for the final out. At the top of the fifth, Michael King replaced Happ and faced Garlick, who reached on a Torres throwing error.  Martini ground out, Bethancourt ground out bring up Torreyes who provided the third out.  At the bottom, Blake Parker faced DJ LeMahieu, who got his second base hit.  Gardner ground out, Torres walked, on four balls, and it was two on and one out. Voit struck out.  Ford ground out, and after five, it’s Yankee 3 and the Phillies 0.

King was back out for the Yankees in the sixth.  Haseley flew out, Forsythe doubled, Hoskins struck out, and Bruce hit a home run to center putting the Phillies on the board 3 -2. In the bottom Iannetta walked to start off the inning, Wade struck out, Granite walked, Kratz, struck out and LeMahieu walked the bases loaded.  With Gardner up, he flews out, leaving three on base.  At the seventh Michael King returned to face Garlick, who struck out, Martini ground out, and Marchan made the final out.  At the top of the seventh, the Phillies brought out Bud Norris.   Torres flew out, Voit walked, Ford ground out into a double play.  Yankees 3 Phillies 2.

Going to the eighth Tyler Lyons took over the pitching.  Torreyes led off with a double, Guthrie in to run for Toe.  Muzziotti struck out.  Gamboa walked, and Hall struck out on an excellent breaking ball by Lyons. Castillo made the final out, leaving two Phillies on base.  Trevor Kelley pitched the bottom.  Alverez was down looking, Zehner struck out, and Milone allowed Kelley to strike out the side.

With last licks for the Philadelphia Phillies, the Yankees sent Dan Otero out to get the save.  Listi singled, Randolph at-bat with the Yankees playing at double-play depth.  Randolph reached on the force out at second. Vierling hit into a double play, and that was the game.  The Yankees won 3-2 against the Phillies.

J.A. Happ has allowed only one run in eight innings in three starts this spring training. In this game, he allowed no runs and got six strikeouts in four innings pitched while allowing no runs.    The winning pitcher was J.A. Happ 2-0, and the loser was Pivetta 0-1. Tomorrow the Yankees face the Tigers with Gerrit Cole on the mound.