Anyway, Ivan Nova started and got roughed up, allowing six runs (five earned) on five hits and three walks in 4.2 innings. He struck out five. Nova allowed three homers, and to be fair, the wind was blowing out this afternoon. “I put myself in a really bad position. I didn’t help myself today,” he said to Pete Caldera after the game when asked about the fifth starter’s competition.
Chris Denorfia whacked a three-run home run — like I said, the wind was blowing out — and Brett Gardner had two hits. One was a beautiful bunt single, the other was a triple off the wall. Didi Gregorius doubled off the wall. Dustin Ackley and Chase Headley each had a base hit as well. Here is the box score, here are the video highlights, and here are the day’s notes from Tampa:
- Jacoby Ellsbury (wrist) took full batting practice today. “I felt very good today. I felt confident in my swing. I was able to drive the ball to all gaps. (Thursday) was just nice and easy batting practice to see how I felt and today I was taking my normal swing. I walked away today feeling very pleased how it went. It was a nice progression,” he said. Ellsbury is going to track pitches tomorrow and hopefully play Sunday. [George King, Jared Diamond]
- On his second error in that tenth inning, Refsnyder took a hard hit ground ball to the face. It took a weird hop and jumped up on him. He was bloodied and left the game with a cut up near his eye. That’s the only damage. Just the cut. The third base experiment will continue, according to Joe Girardi. [Bryan Hoch]
- Michael Pineda threw five scoreless innings in a minor league game. Austin Romine caught him. No surprise there. Romine is on track to be the backup catcher and he needs to learn the pitching staff. Andrew Miller, Luis Severino, and Luis Cessa threw bullpens. [Erik Boland, Chad Jennings]
- For what it’s worth, CC Sabathia went back to using an old two-seam changeup grip last night. He had a 6/1 GB/FB in that start after having a 14/10 GB/FB in his first three Grapefruit League starts. Eh, we’ll see. I’m not sold on a new changeup grip solving Sabathia’s problems. [Brendan Kuty]
- Shane Hennigan has the day’s minor league lineups. Cito Culver batted tenth for Triple-A Scranton. I’m not joking. Rain screwed up the minor league travel plans this afternoon, so the Yankees had their players stay in Tampa and play a bunch of intrasquad games. [Hennigan]
- Prior to last night’s game, Severino and Gary Sanchez were named the 2015 Kevin Lawn Award winners as the Yankees’ minor league pitcher and player of the year, respectively. It was Severino’s second straight Kevin Lawn Award. Congrats to the two of them.
- Among the players making tomorrow’s road trip are Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, Aaron Hicks, Carlos Beltran, and Bryan Mitchell. I assume Mitchell is starting. Pineda had been lined up to start that game. That will be one of those MLB.tv only games. No YES or MLB Network. [Mark Feinsand]
- Some non-Yankees news: Collin McHugh will start the second game of the season for the Astros (behind Dallas Keuchel), and Evan Gattis (hernia) is expected to start the year on the DL. The Yankees open the season at home with three games against the ‘Stros. [Evan Drellich]
This is tonight’s open thread. This afternoon’s game will be replayed on YES at 7pm ET, if you’re interested. MLB Network is showing the Angels and Athletics live right now, then they’ll have games on tape delay all throughout the night. The Devils and Islanders are both playing, and you’ve got the four March Madness games too. Have at it.