USA TODAY Sports
The Yankee pitchers kept the Phillies hitless for three innings this afternoon in Clearwater, but their good start wasn't enough for the offense to overcome two big homers given up by Zach Nuding late in the game. Ichiro Suzuki got the first of his three hits in the first inning off Phillies' starter Kyle Kendrick, stole second, and scored on an RBI double by Mark Teixeira. Things were quiet offensively for the Yankees after that until JR Murphy hit a long two-run home run off of Zach Miner in the 7th inning. At least one of our catchers can hit? Unfortunately, that would be all the scoring the team did.
Murphy's shot off of Miner was impressive, but Domonic Brown managed to easily out do it with a monster home run that sailed over the batter's eye in center off Yankee pitcher Zach Nuding. After an ugly misplay by Thomas Neal in left field, Nuding gave up another long homer to Tommy Joseph to put the Phillies ahead for good. The Yankees were so nice to allow the Phillies their first win of Spring Training.
Jose Ramirez was impressive in his two innings as the starter, allowing no hits and only one walk to Ryan Howard. He fell behind on batters more than we'd like, but for a kid who had to be fighting his nerves, the results were definitely positive. Bullpen regulars David Robertson and Joba Chamberlain followed Ramirez with two scoreless innings. Joba struck out two and D-Rob walked one, but that was the extent of the excitement in their outings. Jim Miller was the only other pitcher to allow a run, giving up an RBI double to Kevin Frandsen in his inning of work; while Juan Cendeno and Branden Pinder also got into the game for an inning, with the latter striking out two in the last inning.
Aside from Murphy, Ichiro, and Tex, the offense was fairly quiet aside from scattered singles here and there. Matt Diaz, Travis Hafner, Bobby Wilson, Adonis Garcia, Luke Murton, and Walter Ibarra were responsible for those. Diaz managed to hit into a double play, Melky Mesa managed to strike out and get his teammate also called out by interfering with the catcher's throw to second base, and Ibarra made an impressive diving play on a ball in foul territory at third base. Tex's defense was also incredibly strong this afternoon, but we've come to expect that, even with his slow offensive starts to the year.