New York Yankees: Major takeaways from the Yankees loss to the Jays

New York Yankees, Michael King
Feb 28, 2021; Tampa, Florida, USA; New York Yankees starting pitcher Michael King (73) throws a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The New York Yankees came away from Sunday’s game with the Toronto Blue Jays with mixed results. Although they lost the game, there were some bright spots for the Yankees. The major plus was that Mike Tauchman, who didn’t have a home run all of last season, hit a monster blast that ended up on the pavilion roof far out in centerfield; it nearly carried out of the park. Tauchman, trying to find a place in the Yankees lineup, took his first step to that goal with that long ball.

Other pluses for the Yankees were that Clint Frazier handled left field pretty well, catching all the balls that came his way. DJ LeMahieu had a hit in a game that saw few for the New York Yankees. LeMahieu was the MLB batting champ last season when he hit .364 on the season. The Yankees went the first three innings without getting on base until LeMahieu had his single that eventually ended up allowing the Yankees to get on the scoreboard when pitch runner Andrew Velazquez crossed the plate on a Luke Voit single. Velazquez replaced Gleyber Torres in the game.

Robinson Chirinos made his debut in pinstripes in the game as he was the starting catcher Sunday. He handled the game well. While Chirinos was the catcher, Gary Sanchez was the DH and continued his play from 2020, striking out in his first appearance in spring training. Of course, that is a small sample size as he tries to right what went wrong last season.

Apparently, the so-called newly redesigned baseball was used yesterday with mixed reviews. Aaron Judge in batting practice thought the ball didn’t go as far as the similar ball last season. But still, he was surprised when a ball he hit during the game went further than he tought it would go. In tomorrow’s game against the Detroit Tigers at 1:05 pm at Steinbrenner Field, Yankee ace Gerrit Cole will get his hands on the new ball, something that he has wanted since the beginning of spring training. Cole will start the game for the Yankees tomorrow in a televised game.

Of course, with Sunday’s loss, all was not good for the Yankees. Starter Micheal King in two innings of work, gave up three runs to the Toronto Blue Jays while hitting two Jay’s hitters. King last year pitched 26.2 innings, earning a 7.76 ERA. More was expected of King after an offseason of work. He will undoubtedly will get more chances in spring training, but yesterday he did not look good. Asher Wojciechowski replaced King in the third inning, giving up three hits and one run, but struck out two batters in the process. He was followed by Kyle Barraclough, who allowed a run in his inning of work.

All in all, the Yankee’s pitching did not look good as they used a new pitcher in all the innings after the third. The Yankee’s offense didn’t particularly shine either. Michael Brantley hit a two-RBI shot, Tauchman homered back to back, and DJ and Luke Voit got singles, but the Yankees did not hit well off the Toronto Blue Jay pitchers. With a somewhat reduced AL East this year, the Blue Jays are expected by many baseball insiders to be the main competition for the Yankees this season.

But like they say in baseball, tomorrow is another day. The Yankees will face the Detroit Tigers tomorrow at home, and then on Tuesday will be away at the Baltimore Orioles. Because of coronavirus concerns, the New York Yankees will only face Florida west coast teams in this spring training; those teams include the Jays, Orioles, Phillies, Pirates, and Tigers. East coast teams like the Boston Red Sox will play only east coast teams. Just over 2,800 lucky fans got to sit in the stands socially distanced and watch yesterday’s game.

At the moment, at the start of the regular season, the Yankees will be allowed to have fans at Yankee Stadium, but only to 10% capacity. The Yankees will work seamlessly with New York Governor Cuomo, hoping to increase that by the Yankees’ opening day game at the Stadium on April 1.