It’s hard to sugarcoat it: the Braves were shelled in Tampa on Saturday afternoon before the skies opened up and mercifully closed the book on their contest with the Yankees. They lost by a final tally of 10-0, and Spencer Strider didn’t fare well at all.
It’s always hard, if not impossible, to say that a player didn’t “do well” in a Spring Training game, since the contests are more live-action opportunities to train than they are exhibition games in a conventional sense. So, while Strider’s line is ghastly (2 1⁄3 innings, seven hits, five runs (four earned), two walks, five strikeouts, two homers allowed), it’s hard to say whether this was because he was trying to get outs and failing, or whether getting outs was secondary to whatever else he was working on during the afternoon.
Aaron Judge took Strider in the first, and the Yankees would’ve scored another run if not for Eddie Rosario throwing out Anthony Rizzo at home on a tag-up attempt. Strider allowed an unearned run in the second as two singles sandwiched a throwing error by catcher Manny Piña. He did strike out the side in that frame, so that was a positive if you’re looking at results. The Yankees chased Strider in the third, as Rizzo homered to begin the frame, and then after Strider struck out Giancarlo Stanton, D.J. LeMahieu singled and Joey Gallo walked.
Relieving Strider was former Jays farmhand Justin Maese, and he made the score more egregious in Atlantas disfavor, as he allowed a double and then a two-run homer. Four straight Yankees reached against Maese to start the fourth, forcing out Jake Higginbotham, who allowed a run of his own (Kyle Higashioka’s second homer of the game) in the fifth.
The Braves did nothing against Yankee pitching, as Luis Severino threw four scoreless, and then Nestor Cortes came on and pitched two goose eggs of his own. Orlando Arcia (single) and Adam Duvall (double) were the only Braves to reach base in this game. Rain cancelled the remainder of the game after the top of the sixth.
There’s a pending roster hole for the Braves now that Luke Jackson appears to be on the shelf indefinitely with some UCL issues, but it’s not clear how that, or today’s outing, affects Strider’s candidacy for the Opening Day roster. We’ll probably see him at some point in 2022 anyway, even if it isn’t early on. Stay tuned.