The Yankees are back in action with their fourth game of spring training on Wednesday night, hosting the Blue Jays at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Before we get to any in-game action or the starting lineups, the big news this evening is manager Aaron Boone’s medical leave of absence as he undergoes surgery to get a pacemaker.
Boone was expected to get the surgery Wednesday evening and return to work in the next few days. General manager Brian Cashman spoke about the concern attached to any heart issues (Boone had open-heart surgery in 2009) but assured Boone would be in a good place after the procedure.
Yankees bench coach Carlos Mendoza managed the club on Wednesday night and took on Boone’s responsibilities until the skipper returns. It was Corey Kluber’s debut in pinstripes. Also making their first appearance of spring training were Brett Gardner and Giancarlo Stanton. The game against the Toronto Blue Jays was the first night game of spring training, and it was a nice night for baseball in St. Pete. The first pitch temperature was 60 degrees, and the game was played under mostly cloudy skies with a very light breeze at George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Kluber started for the New York Yankees facing the Toronto Blue Jay’s Simeon Richardson. Corey Kluber was magnificent in his first inning in pinstripes. Kluber retired the first three hitters he faced in order, ending the frame with a pretty strikeout of Rowdy Tellez. At the bottom, Aaron Judge almost recorded a homer. In the second inning, Corey Kluber looked really good, folks. He struck out two more Blue Jays to finish off two perfect frames. Check out this off-speed pitch to strike out Palacios. This performance is wonderful news for the Yankees.
Adam Warren took over for the Yankees in the third. Following Kluber, Warren put down the Jays in one-two-three fashion in his frame. On a side note, in duel 14 run games, the Red Sox put down the Twins, and the Reds put down the New York Mets. After three innings of play, the Yankee game remained scoreless. A pitcher that almost nobody has ever heard of, Nick Goody took over for Warren at the top of the fourth. Although he gave up a double, he too had a scoreless inning for the Yankees.
At the top of the fourth, Aaron Judge was hit by a pitch and replaced by Michael Beltre. Aaron Hicks, with his good eye, fought off nine of Alek Manoah’s pitches but eventually struck out. Giancarlo Stanton also struck out. The New York Yankees are looking to Stanton to return to the form he showed in the postseason when he hit six home runs in seven games. After four innings, the game remained scoreless, with Luis Cessa on the mound for the fifth. Josh Palacios doubled off Cessa, but Warmoth struck out, Valero singled scoring Palacios for the first run of the game. Blue Jays 1 Yankees 0.
At the bottom of the frame Gary Sanchez again showed off his power homering and tieing up the game at 1-1, Sanchez homered in his game yesterday as well against the Orioles. That was followed by Derek Dietrich’s home driving in two for the Yankees 3-1 lead. Jonathan Loaisiga took over for the Yankees in the sixth. He also pitched a scoreless sixth. Pitcher Kyle Barraclough closed it out his half of the seventh.
This was the first 9 inning game of spring training. At the bottom of the seventh Robinson Chirinos homer to far left for the Yankee 4-1 lead. As it turned out the Yankees only played the bottom of the seventh and the game was called. Luis Cessa got the win and Nick Allgeyer took the loss, Barraclough got the save for the Yankees.
The New York Yankees play the Philadelphia Phillies tomorrow at 1:05 pm just a hop skip and a jump for the Yankees in Clearwater, Florida.