Patrick Corbin got off to a good start this afternoon, in his third Grapefruit League start of the Spring, retiring the first six New York Yankees’ hitters in a nine-pitch, 1-2-3 first and 14-pitch second, striking out two of the six batters he faced.
Corbin got a seventh consecutive out to start his third inning of work, but Yankees’ second baseman Tyler Wade got hold of an 0-2 pitch up in the zone and shot a one-out single into left field for the first hit off the Washington Nationals’ lefty.
Wade was forced out at second on a grounder to first in the next at bat, and Corbin got out No. 3 to end a 13-pitch third, then came back out for the fourth with a 1-0 lead and worked around an error (on a tough hop) by shortstop Luis Garcia, getting a called third strike on a 1-2 slider to Gio Urshela for out No. 2 and an inning-ending 4-6-3 DP off of Miguel Andujar’s bat to end an eight-pitch frame which left him at 44 total.
Victor-y: Victor Robles connected for his first home run of the Spring on a knee-high, 2-1 fastball in the middle of the plate that went out to left field on a breeze for a two-out solo blast off Yankees’ righty Jonathan Loaisiga, 1-0.
Robles was playing in his first game since March 8th, when he tweaked an oblique, and his fifth game overall this Spring.
Moar Runs: Eric Thames walked with two out in the home-half of the fourth, and scored on an opposite field double to right by Yan Gomes, who took a first-pitch fastball from Yankee righty Nick Tropeano the other way for an RBI hit and a 2-0 Nats’ lead.
Bullpen Action: Sean Doolittle was the first pitcher out of the bullpen in the top of the fifth inning, and he gave up a hard-hit double on a grounder to third that got by Carter Kieboom and rolled out into left field. [ed. note - “That one was well-struck, don’t blame Carter on this one.”]
Doolittle threw one in the dirt that got away from Yan Gomes and allowed the runner (Clint Frazier) to take third, and Frazier trotted home on an RBI double to right-center field off of Chris Iannetta’s bat, 2-1 Nationals.
Tyler Wade got all of a full-count fastball, letter-high inside from Doolittle and hit it a long way to right field for a go-ahead, two-run blast that put the Yankees up by a run, 3-2, and Doolittle was done after 23 pitches.
Ryne Harper took over for the Nationals with one down, and worked around a single to get the final two outs of the frame.
Daniel Hudson came on for the Nationals in the top of the sixth, with the Yankees still up, 3-2, and worked around a leadoff walk in a 21-pitch frame.
Sam Freeman stranded a two-out single in a scoreless top of the seventh.
Hunter Strickland gave up a one-out, hustle double, a two-out RBI single, and an RBI double in the top of the eighth as the Yankees added to their lead, 5-2. Strickland didn’t make it out of the inning, as the Nationals called on Kevin Quackenbush with two down and the veteran right-hander gave up a soft single to right that drove in NY’s sixth run, 6-2.
Jake Noll doubled and scored on a sac fly by Brandon Snyder in the bottom of the ninth, 6-3, but that’s as close as the Nationals got.
That’s how it all ended, and that’s going to be the final Grapefruit League game this Spring. For reals: