The Yankees officially kicked off Spring Training with a win, in front of a sold-out (10,129) George M. Steinbrenner Field.
Yankees starter Luis Cessa looked pretty good, touching 96 miles per hour with his fastball. Cessa would pitch two innings and permit the Detroit Tigers lone run in the first off of two singles. Ben Heller and David Hale would follow with two innings of scoreless baseball of their own. Hale was credited with the win. Brady Lail, Cale Coshow bridged the gap to the Mexico native Giovanny Gallegos, who slammed the door shut and picked up his first save of the spring.
Offensively, Tyler Wade earned player of the game, as the locked-in youngster went 2-2 with a double. New York scored all three of their runs in the bottom of the sixth inning. Jake Cave plated Wade on a bases-loaded fielder’s choice to Tigers first basemen Edwin Espinal. Jorge Saez then came to bat and smacked a line drive to center field, scoring Kyle Higashioka and Danny Espinosa.
The Aaron Boone era took a giant step forward to becoming officially underway today. Boone, who made his first appearance ever as a manager, said in an in-game interview on the YES Network, “I’m kinda feeling my way here, trying to see the things that I want to see especially from our pitchers.” He later added in a postgame interview that “I thought for the first day we did a lot of things well… I’m excited about the at-bats. We had a patient at-bat from a lot of different guys.”
Giancarlo Stanton who went 0-1 played right field and batted second in his Yankees spring debut. In his first at-bat, Giancarlo had an incredible eight-pitch battle against Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Ryan Carpenter. His second time up he grounded into a double play.
In a postgame interview with Meredith Marakovits, Stanton said that he “feels like a young kid” this spring. He later added in a postgame interview, “It was fun, a lot of fun…I was just trying to get my timing out there. It was good. It was a good day.”
The last time the Yankees faced the Tigers was back at Comerica Park last August – and multiple brawls erupted from the game. Suspensions were handed out; punches were thrown, guys were thrown at. I am happy to report that all the drama was put behind the two teams – at least for the moment.
Tomorrow the Yankees take on the Pittsburgh Pirates in Bradenton, Florida at 1 p.m. The Bombers will send right-hander Domingo German to toe the rubber.