The Yankees took advantage of a couple of Blue Jays’ errors to score two runs in the bottom of the ninth for a 6-5 win that raised their spring training record to 22-7-1 (if only they can start the regular season 22-7!).
To me, the story of the game isn’t the win. It is that Adam Warren didn’t pitch well in starting the game, and thus, the battle for the #4 and #5 starter spots is still wide open.
A few days ago, Luis Cessa was sent to minor league camp.
A #5 starter may not be needed until Game 13 or so. In fact, because of off days, a #4 starter may only be needed once in the first 13 or so games.
So manager Joe Girardi may have extra time to make a decision. With Warren not stepping up today, he may be going back to the swing man role. Spot starter/Long relief.
Which would leave four others for the two spots (unless the Yanks make a trade). Those four are Luis Severino, Chad Green, Bryan Mitchell and the surprise, Jordan Montgomery.
Severino I talked about yesterday. Big difference in him between starting and relieving.
Mitchell may have won one of the spots.
Could Montgomery surprisingly win the other?
Toronto got a run in the first and two in the second to go up 3-0, Warren giving up a 2-run HR in the second.
The Yanks got two in the second when Greg Bird continued his phenomenal spring with yet another HR (7) and Austin Romine singled in a run.
The Yanks tied it in the third on an RBI single by Matt Holliday.
Warren gave up another HR in the fourth and Toronto went up 4-3. The Blue Jays got a run in the seventh off of Jon Niese to make it 5-3.
I like Mason Williams, who is overlooked when talking about Yankees’ outfield prospects. It seems like he is always hurt. He singled in a run in the bottom of the seventh to cut Toronto’s lead to 5-4.
In the bottom of the ninth, Zach Zehner singled and after Wilkin Castillo struck out, Ronald Torreyes reached on an error. Rob Refsnyder flied out but Williams reached on a two-base error that tied the game and put runners on second and third. Pete Kozma singled to win the game.
Opening Day is just over a week away. The first three starters are Tanaka, CC, then Pineda. But who gets #4 and #5? It seems like no one is stepping up to outright claim it.
And that is why Montgomery has a chance.
Warren 3 1/3 IP, 4 R, 4 H, 2 walks, 4 K. Gave up 2 HR.
Layne 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Holder 2 Ip, 0 R, 0 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Niese 1 IP, 1 r, 2 H, 0 walks, 1 K.
Feyereisen 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 1 walk, 2 K.
Marsh 1 Ip, 0 R, 1 H, 0 walks, 1 K.