The last planned game of my Spring Training trip last week threw us a curveball almost immediately.
All the other games had been 1 PM matinees, and so we figured this game, at Steinbrenner Field, would similarly be a matinee, so my dad and I trekked down from our hotel in Clearwater towards Tampa. All the while, I kept checking Twitter and was puzzled as to why neither team had posted their lineups yet.
A further check of ESPN.com revealed that this was not, in fact, a matinee, as we'd planned, but a night game scheduled for 6 pm. We turned around, made the day into a well-deserved beach day, and rerouted our travels.
The night's shortstop of choice was Oswald Peraza, meaning Cabrera, Kiner-Falefa and Volpe would have to watch from the sidelines to see if he messed up.
The most telling aspect of the matchup? The Jays were starting Drew Hutchison, famed for his years as a depth starter with the Tigers and being the Opening Day starter in Toronto back in 2015. The Yankees, however, were starting Gerrit Cole.
These, folks, were our seats. Spring Training ticketing means getting second level seats and them still being awesome because they're less 'higher in the air' and more 'further back'. Like, to me this still counts as the main concourse. These were absolutely worth it. Look at how gorgeous that view is.
However, it wasn't an especially pitiful outing compared to Drew Hutchison's night.
Okay. So Hutchison gets up there against the top of the order, right? Throws two pitches to DJ, he hits a home run. Walks Stanton. Gets Rizzo on base with a scorcher. Then Donaldson, his old teammate, gets up, and Donaldson murders the ball, with a 3-run bomb that, for the time being, restores some level of Yankee faith in him.
THEN HE WALKS CALHOUN. Then he gives up a hit to Peraza, albeit a fielder's choice that nails the much slower Calhoun. And then Estevan Florial gets up, the guy that will most likely be making the team as a centerfield option...and Florial is now the one that lights Hutchison up.
So, to recap, Drew Hutchison gives up 3 home runs, 6 runs overall, doesn't strike anybody out, the only out is underneath an actual hit, and this is a team he won multiple games for in 2015. When he got pulled, I think a lot of the Yankee fans waved.
But at the same time, there's enough of this team that still works. Michael King and Wandy Peralta looked excellent in relief. Calhoun eventually smoked a double and made sure that the crux of the lineup came away with hits. Oswald Peraza evened the shortstop race with a homer of his own against Tom Hatch. This is a team that's managed enough depth, even with whatever shenanigans Rodon and Cortes have gotten into.
By the eighth, Junior Fernandez was giving up a homer to a Yankee deep minor leaguer. At that point, we had the cushion to head for the car.
Ending the trip on a win was an excellent cap on a great week in Florida. We got some nice games in, saw some great players, some cool early season stuff, and had an excellent time.
Not sure when I'll do Spring Training again. I'll keep you all posted.
Enjoyed all the pics and recaps, thanks!ReplyDelete