The New York Yankees. traveled to Clearwater, Florida yesterday and put on a show of how the game of baseball should be played. They used a mix of the long ball and small ball over nine innings to display the game elements that win games. Mix that with good pitching, and you will win most games. The Yankees won the game 6-1, and they did it with their “B” lineup.
Gerrit Cole bounced back from his one inning struggle in his first start of the season. In his first start, he struggled to throw 27 pitches in one inning and giving up a run. A subject at least at the beginning of the season is who is catching Cole. Last season he had a personal catcher in Kyle Higashioka. Manager Aaron Boone said before spring training started that that would not be the case this season. But that conversation is not going to go away. In his first game, Gary Sanchez caught the ace, and as I said, it was obvious with so many pitches that he struggled.
In yesterday’s game, he was caught by Kyle Higashioka, who was his personal catcher during 2020. Last year demonstrated the difference in his ERA when caught by Sanchez vs. Higashioka. 3.91 with Sanchez and 1.10 with Higashioka. Yesterday seemed to demonstrate that same difference. Pitching to Higashioka, he lowered his ERA from 9.00 to 4.50, pitching 3 innings.
Encouraging news for the New York Yankees arising out of yesterday’s game was that Jonathan Loaisiga was again nearly perfect in his second outing. He pitched three scoreless innings in relief of Gerrit Cole. He pitched four innings of scoreless ball over both of his games while striking out eight opponents while allowing no walks.
This kind of performance from Loaisiga has to be encouraging for the Yankees as they will be missing Zack Britton for at least two or three weeks of the regular season while he recovers from elbow surgery to remove some bone chips from his elbow. Luis Cessa, the Yankee’s main mid-reliever, has struggled so far in spring training. The New York Yankees will need Loaisiga to continue his excellent pitching displays.
Get singles and steal bases:
The New York Yankees proved yesterday that they could win when not using their “A” lineup. The Yankees used a combination of a homer from Aaron Hicks and a lot of small ball to propel them to a win. Five of the six runs they scored in the game were via the small ball. The Yankees used a mix of singles, doubles, and base stealing to overcome the Phillies. The lineup yesterday did not include two power hitters that are Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
Aaron Hicks set the game’s tone, homering in the first inning, but it was the Yankee’s 14 hits in the game that won it for them. Andrew Velazquez, Oswald Peraza, and Chris Gittens shone in the game. It also helped that the Yankees played errorless ball. With the possibility of a Grand Slam from the Phillies, the Yankee’s Matt Vierling robbed the Phillies with a jumping catch at the wall.
Today the New York Yankees will take on the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. The Yankee’s Jameson Taillon will take on the Tiger’s Julio Teheran. This will be Taillon’s second start in three games. So far, he has only given up two hits, one walk, and no earned runs while striking out five opponents across three innings.