The New York Yankees lost an offense-less game against the St. Louis Cardinals on Wednesday afternoon, but there were some positive takeaways despite the dud. The team collected just five strikeouts across 29 at-bats, making some decent contact but getting unlucky with some stellar defensive play on the other side of the ball.
Starting pitcher Gerrit Cole took the mound for his second start of the spring, looking fantastic once again. Unfortunately, one of the Yankees’ top bullpen arms, Wandy Peralta, had a rugged performance.
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Good news for the Yankees:
The biggest takeaway from the loss was certainly Gerrit Cole’s showing, pitching 3.1 innings, allowing two hits, and striking out seven batters. Cole touched 99 mph on his fastball, dotting the corners and making the Cardinals hitters think twice about their decision. Cole has been solid this spring, and his velocity is clearly trending up ahead of the regular season. Cole maintains his place as the team’s ace, despite signing Carlos Rodon to a six-year, $162 million deal.
The Yankees also got a decent performance from their bullpen. Notably, Clay Holmes struck out two batters across his single inning. Greg Weissert gave up an earned run but struck out three batters across 1.1 innings, working himself out of a jam. Offensively, the Bombers only collected four hits, courtesy of Aaron Judge, Anthony Rizzo, Giancarlo Stanton, and Rodolfo Duran.
It was fun to see Judge get some action in left field, and Cabrera made a stellar catch in CF, requiring a full extension to reach the baseball a few feet away.
Bad news for the Yankees:
The primary negative from today’s loss was obviously their inability to score. Collecting only four hits over 29 at-bats is unacceptable, but striking out only five times indicates they made contact, just not good contact. The team’s shortstop battle continues to unfold, but Isiah Kiner-Falefa has struggled this spring, hitting .091 with a .214 OBP. He struck out once over two at-bats, and while spring stats certainly aren’t the end all be all of the players’ capabilities, reports have indicated that Oswald Peraza has the shortstop job locked up.
As for the team’s pitching, Wandy Peralta had a tough day, giving up three hits and three earned runs across just one inning. He gave up a homer to Brendan Donovan, driving in three runs.
There’s no reason to be concerned about Peralta or any Yankee player struggling through spring training. Still, something must be said about position battles unfolding and poor performances hurting individual stocks.