Yankees 4 -- Phillies 7
The New York Yankees played their first game of the season against the Philadelphia Phillies at BayCare Ballpark in Clearwater, Florida, over the weekend. Although they lost 7-4, many takeaways from the game were notable, including six in particular. Despite the introduction of new rules, including pitch clocks and shift restrictions, which are expected to change the game's dynamics, the Yankee's performance wasn't affected. The biggest highlight of the game was 20-year-old outfielder Jasson Dominguez, dubbed "The Martian," who hit a homer 420 feet to left-center field to lead off the fifth inning. Here are the five other takeaways from the game:
First, Dominguez is the youngest player at big-league spring training for the Yankees and is considered the second-best prospect in the team's organization. Manager Aaron Boone praised Dominguez's understanding and ease of the strike zone, saying he has "no panic up there."
Second, batters will need to adjust to the pitch clock, ensuring they're in the batter's box at the eight-second mark, and picking up signs from the third-base coach may prove challenging initially.
Third, the pitch clock will make pitchers work faster on the mound, which will benefit infield defenses. Infielders will be more engaged than ever, and infield positioning will change.
Fourth, Boone said there could be times when managers and umpires clash over the finer points of the new rules. There were some issues with the pitch clock resetting too soon during the game, which didn't give players enough time to get into their defensive positions.
Fifth, infielders can no longer stand on the outfield grass due to shift restrictions, which might require some getting used to.
Finally, despite Dominguez's impressive performance, he's focused on the task at hand and not on reaching the Bronx before the end of this season.
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