Giancarlo Stanton homered today in a 10-3 Yanks’ win over the Mets that made their spring training record 11-4.
The Gardner/Judge/ Stanton 1-2-3 today was a thing of beauty. In the first, Gardner and Judge singled and Stanton was HBP. Brandon Drury singled in one run and Tyler Austin’s force out brought in another.
I am not a big fan of Luis Cessa. Driving home from a 1/2 day of work today, both John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman on the radio criticized Cessa for nibbling even though he throws 97. Good point. Cessa, it seems, struggles to get hitters out even when he is doing well. It doesn’t come easy. No easy outs. It’s one reason why if the Yanks need an emergency starter, I would rather have Domingo German than Cessa.
Cessa reached his pitch limit before he even pitched two innings. He was pulled with the bases loaded after just 1 1/3 innings pitched.
Then you saw something incredible.
We had not seen David “Houdini” Robertson pitch yet this spring training. Partly because of a touch of food poisoning he got recently. So in his first spring training appearance, “Houdini” comes in with the bases loaded and one out.
He strikes out both batters he faces. Really?
In the third, Gardner singled and Judge doubled. An RBI ground out by Drury made it 3-0 Yanks.
The Mets got a run in the fourth off Betances because Jose Reyes stole second and third off him. When asked in an in-game interview if he would prefer Betances slide-step, manager Aaron Boone said no, he doesn’t want to screw Betances up, but to let Betances concentrate on getting the batter out. But Betances’ slow move to the plate is a concern. He needs to hold runners on better. Boone’s point was to not let them get on base in the first place.
The Yanks got two in the fifth to make it 5-1 on Stanton’s HR.
An RBI single by Reyes in the sixth made it 5-2, and the Yanks got lucky on the play. Tyler Wade dove for the ball and rolled over his wrist. At first, it appeared as if he may have broken or severely sprained it, but he is OK.
The Yankees got two in the bottom of the sixth on a walk to Jace Peterson, a double by Ronald Torreyes, and a 2-run double by Kyle Holder. 7-2 Yanks.
The Mets got a run in the seventh but the Yanks came back with three in the eighth.
Francisco Diaz and Jace Peterson singled. A force out by Abiatal Avelino drove in one run. Holder singled to put runners at first and second. Estevan Florial singled, one runner scored and an error put runners on second and third. Shane Robinson hit a SF to make it 10-3 Yanks.
One friend of mine is still critical of Judge batting second because of his 52 HR last year. He would like to drop him down in the lineup. He is critical of the 208 strikeouts last year, too. But a guy batting first or second is a guy you want to have a good OBP. Judge, despite the strikeouts, did lead the AL with 127 walks, so his OBP was excellent, the best in the league. You want good OBP guys in front of Stanton and Sanchez. So Judge does fit the bill there.
The fact that Gardner/Judge/ Stanton makes a pitcher wary of facing BOTH Judge and Stanton right away in the first inning is a valid point.
Earlier, I advocated a Gardner/Judge/Bird/Stanton/Sanchez/Didi first six.
I change my mind. Instead, I would like Gardner/Judge/Stanton/Didi/Sanchez/Bird front six.
I say this for a couple of reasons. One, get both Judge and Stanton up right away in that first inning.
The other? Instead of Bird splitting up the righty bats, use Didi instead. If one is on first base, and Sanchez doubles, who is more likely to score from first on the double, Didi or Bird? That is why, even though unconventional, I would bat Didi cleanup.
Gardner 2 for 3 with a walk, scored 2 runs.
Florial 1 for 1
Judge 2 for 2 with a walk, scored 2 runs. Finally broke out.
Stanton 2-run HR.
Drury 2 RBI.
Kyle Holder 2 for 2 with 2 RBI.
We saw a lot of the bullpen today.
Cessa 1 1/3 IP, 0 R, 2 H, 3 W, 2 K. Really, not good. 3 walks. Nibbling too much. Way off. Four outs. Five base runners. Three by walk.
Robertson (H) 2/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K. See above. Fabulous.
Chapman (H) 1 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 2 K.
Betances (H) 1 IP, 1 R, 2 H, 0 W, 1 K.
Warren (H) 2 IP, 1 R, 4 H, 0 W, 3 K.
Green 1 2/3 IP, 1 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Reeves 1 IP, 0 R, 1 H, 1 W, 2 K.
Foley 1/3 IP, 0 R, 0 H, 0 W, 0 K.
Yankees’ pitchers combined for 14 K.