The Yankees had quite the showing today in their 6-3 victory over the Tigers. The pitching was dominant up until the ninth inning, and the bats were very solid all around. The most notable performer today was none other than Josh Donaldson, as his new stance was the talk of the afternoon.
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Good news for the Yankees:
First, Luis Severino was on one today. He struggled out of the gate with a solo shot to Kerry Carpenter, and then he gave up a hard base knock. He would go on to give up two runs that inning but buckled down and was pure electric after. Sevy had been working on his fastball a ton this spring, but today he was all slider-focused.
His slider was absolutely filthy this afternoon and was the catalyst behind his nine strikeouts on the afternoon. He walked a single batter, gave up four hits and two runs, and was able to get swings and misses at an insane clip. He was on one, and after the game said he felt great, especially after throwing 74 pitches on the day.
The rest of the bullpen was equally as dominant, aside from a shaky ninth inning from James Norwood. Clay Holmes came in and posted a 1-2-3 inning on just five pitches, and he looks like he’s in mid-season form. Following his inning, Loaisiga trotted onto the bump and was able to strike out the side with his disgusting sinker that was sitting at 99 MPH on the afternoon.
Wandy came in and did the usual Wandy Peralta job as he worked around two base runners and got out of the inning unscathed. He’s been one of the premiere beneficiaries of the pitch timer, as he wastes no time getting set and throwing changeups and sinkers over the plate. Having the key bullpen guys shove today was right in line with what’s been the story this spring. It’ll be crucial for the major guys to step up with both Kahnle and Trivino sidelined for the foreseeable future.
Now, the offense. They were hitting the ball exceptionally well, and Volpe once more was all over the place. He worked a walk, smacked a double off the wall, stole a base, and forced a balk from the pitcher thanks to his proactiveness on second base. The young golden boy continues to show that he deserves to make the roster, and as the days go by, it seems more likely that he’ll be in the lineup on Opening Day.
The Bringer of Rain was testing out a new batting stance today, where he was less crouched and wasn’t squatting, but instead standing more vertically and reducing his leg kick. It worked wonders for the afternoon, as Josh Donaldson ripped not one but two massive HR that accounted for the majority of the Yanks’ runs today.
If Donaldson is able to consistently find success with that stance, perhaps this could be a big bounce-back campaign for him after all. It was his first multi-HR game with the Yankees, and after hitting just 15 last season, could be the start of a new page for the former MVP. He was absolutely on one, and hopefully, it’s not just a one-off.
Bad news for the Yankees:
The rest of the offense did their usual thing, and there were, fortunately, no injuries or negative updates from today’s game. The only real downside was that Tommy Kahnle has been delayed in his progress for the afternoon, but that doesn’t come as something shocking given the recent updates the last week or so.
Norwood was the only real clunker out of the pen, but he only gave up a single run on the afternoon and was able to navigate around a few base runners in the ninth inning. The Yanks were down 2-0 early on but went on to outscore the Tigers 6-1 for the rest of the day. With just a few spring training games left, the regular season is approaching at unprecedented speeds.
Soon, meaningful baseball will return to the Bronx, and I can’t wait for opening day on March 30th. The Yanks get set to take on the Nationals tomorrow afternoon in Palm Beach, and Clarke Schmidt makes his return to the bump following his 5.0 perfect innings in his recent start.